Putin on NATO, Ukraine, gas, COVID and the Russian economy


Russian President Vladimir Putin attends his annual year-end press conference in Moscow, Russia on December 23, 2021. REUTERS / Evgenia Novozhenina

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MOSCOW, December 23 (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin gave his annual press conference on Thursday. Read more

Putin spoke in Russian. The quotes below have been translated into English by Reuters.

ON A POSSIBLE CONFLICT WITH UKRAINE

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“It’s not our choice, we don’t want it.”

“We have to think about securing our security outlook not just for today and next week, but for the near future.”

“We have just asked the question directly that there should be no more NATO movement towards the east, the ball is in their court, they should answer us with something. In this regard, I would like to stress that overall, we have seen a positive reaction so far, our American partners tell us that they are ready to start this discussion. “

ON NATO EXPANSION

“What is not clear here? Are we putting missiles near the borders of the United States? No, it was the United States that came towards us with their missiles, they are already at our gate.”

“The course of the negotiations is not important for us, the result is important …” Not an inch to the East “, they told us in the 90s. So what? And now already, if you pleases, the systems appear in Romania and Poland. “

ON DONBASS

“The future of Donbass should be determined by the people who live in Donbass … It cannot be otherwise. We see our role as mediators in creating the best conditions to determine the future of the people who live there. territory.”

GAS

“Gazprom supplies all the volumes requested under existing contracts.”

“Gazprom has not reserved this traffic because its customers, especially the German and French companies, which buy gas via this route, have not made a purchase request.”

“They turned this backward route from Germany to Poland … Why? Because we supply gas to Germany on long-term contracts and the price is three to four, (even ) six to seven times cheaper than there. Just reselling 1 billion cubic meters, you can earn 1 billion dollars. “

ON RUSSIA MARKING CERTAIN MEDIA AS FOREIGN AGENTS

“We do not prohibit the work of these organizations. We want organizations engaged in the domestic political activity of Russia to clearly and concisely declare the sources of foreign funding for their work.”

ON THE WEST OLYMPIC GAMES BOYCOTT

“This decision is unacceptable and wrong … Sport, like art, should unite people, not create problems in the international relations of states.”

ON VACCINES

“… I am talking about the need for mutual recognition of vaccines and their dissemination around the world as quickly as possible and in as large quantities as possible. Otherwise, we will not be able to face this problem on a global level, humanity will live with it all the time. “

ON INFLATION AND RATE INCREASES

“(Inflation) of 8% is a lot and of course we have to get back to the target, at 4%.”

“I know the real (economic) sector’s dissatisfaction with the rate hike, but if that is not done, we could have the same problem as Turkey. It is a serious problem and a serious problem. serious challenge. “

ON THE ECONOMY

“GDP growth this year is expected to be 4.5%.”

“The unemployment rate has gotten lower, by the end of the year it could rise slightly to 4.4%. This is a very good indicator of the economy as a whole.”

ON COVID-19 IMMUNITY

“Collective immunity today in Russia is 59.4% … But that’s not enough, we need around 80% collective immunity. Hopefully next year, somewhere at least by the end of the first or second quarter, we’ll get to that level. “

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Report from the Moscow Press Room Compiled by Alexander Marrow Editing by Mark Trevelyan and Mark Potter

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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