“I don’t rule, I just work”: Vladimir Putin’s 16 press conferences

On December 23, 2021, Vladimir Putin will hold the 17th press conference. The President has been holding annual meetings with Russian and foreign journalists since 2001 As the previous ones were held – in the RBC review

About the coronavirus pandemic

“ Not a single system in the world was ready for such a scale that we faced, there is no such system simply. Compared to what was happening in the world, our system turned out to be more efficient. & lt; … & gt; At the beginning of the pandemic, we did not know what it was and how to treat it. & lt; & hellip; & gt; Russia turned out to be the first country in the world that invented, let's say, and began to produce a vaccine. & lt; & hellip; & gt; It makes me very happy when specialists at such a high level unite their efforts. ''

“ About mass vaccination. I think this should be done. This is said not only by our virologists, but also by our colleagues practically all over the world. One of the ways to overcome the pandemic & mdash; mass vaccination. It must create national immunity. ” If it does, it was worth it. & lt; … & gt; Formally, the people have permission to do it or not [went to the polls], I'll see … ''.

On possible changes to the Constitution: “ This is a living instrument, it must meet the requirements of society. We should not be adopting a new Constitution. We have fundamental things, the first chapter (On the foundations of the constitutional system. & Mdash; RBK ). Everything else can be changed. I understand the logic of those who propose some changes, this is due to the possible expansion of the rights of parliament, but all this can be done only after good preparation of the society. Previous changes were related only to the number of presidential terms. What can you do & mdash; cancel the 'consecutive' clause.

On Internet Freedom: “ Free Internet and Sovereign Internet '' these concepts do not contradict each other. Sovereignty lies in the fact that we have our own resources that can be turned on, and the Internet is not cut off for us. We are not moving towards shutting down the internet. ''“There’s nothing good about that. True, there is nothing good in the fact that they sing there with the mother. I recently attended the anniversary of [Yuri] Temirkanov (conductor, People's Artist of the USSR & mdash; RBK ), he said that art does not exist to indulge base motives, but to raise this level. There are also other elements & mdash; drug propaganda. Why condone this? This is the degradation of the nation. Do we want to degrade? Or it has somehow become fashionable to promote suicide. This should not be allowed in the youth environment. Of course, all this cannot be rudely prohibited. ''

On pension reform: “ In the early 2000s and in the middle, I said that against raising the retirement age. Then it was impossible to do it. If I was not convinced that this was inevitable, I would never have allowed it. ”

About sanctions: “I’m confident that the sanctions [on the Russian economy] didn’t have the same effect as the decline in oil prices, but they did.”

On retirement age: “Whatever option is adopted [the decision to raise the retirement age], it will not affect those who have already retired. This is the first thing. And secondly, it’s definitely perfect, it should not be any shock decision, it should not be a one-time decision, it should be, as is done in many countries, gradually and gently. Either six months later, or a year later. But I repeat again and want to emphasize this: no final decision [on this issue] has been made. ”

On renewing the governor's corps: Are we local staff or not? Of course we do. The vast majority of regions are ruled by people from them, but there are cases when elites need to be renewed. And this, by the way, is in demand by the citizens of the region. ''

On the property of civil servants: “ Regarding the construction by our business representatives, including enterprises with state participation, the construction of outward-looking real estate objects, I agree with you: you have to be more modest, you are right. I have said this many times and I hope that they will hear. This applies to both premiums and income. Even if it is possible within the law, we need to understand what country we live in and not annoy people. ''

On the murder of Boris Nemtsov: “ The investigation must establish, no matter how long it lasts. This crime must be investigated and the participants must be punished, no matter what. Nobody is going to cover anyone. But we need to wait for objective evidence from the investigation. ''

About daughters: “ I never discuss issues related to my family. They (daughters of. & Mdash; RBC ) do not run business and are not involved in politics. They don't go anywhere. ''

On the economic situation: “[What is happening to our economy] is not a payback for Crimea. This is a reckoning, this is a payment, or rather, for our natural desire to preserve ourselves as a nation, as a civilization, as a state. ''

On the 2018 elections: early komuba however. We must persistently work in the interests of the citizens of the Russian Federation. And based on the results and the mood in society, it will be possible to draw a conclusion about who will go to the elections in 2018. ''

About Pussy Riot: “ I feel sorry for them not for the fact that they ended up in prison, although there is nothing good about that. I was sorry that they had reached such a state that they started such shocking, in my opinion, degrading the dignity of women. In order to stand out and somehow promote themselves, they crossed all boundaries. ''

On pardoning Mikhail Khodorkovsky: “ In accordance with the law, Mikhail Borisovich [Khodorkovsky] had to write the appropriate paper & mdash; petition for clemency. He did not do this, but quite recently he wrote such a paper and turned to me with a petition for clemency. He spent more than ten years in prison, this is a serious punishment. He refers to circumstances of a humanitarian nature: his mother is sick. I believe that, bearing in mind all these circumstances, an appropriate decision can be made, and a decree on his pardon will be signed shortly. ''

On the “ law Dima Yakovleva & raquo ;: “ As far as I know public opinion polls, the overwhelming majority of citizens of the Russian Federation generally have a negative attitude towards the fact that foreigners adopt our children. We need to do this ourselves. We ourselves need to stimulate the transfer to families of our children left without parental care, or orphans.

On democracy: “ If I thought that a totalitarian or authoritarian system is the most preferable for us, then I would simply have changed the Constitution, as you understand. It was easy to do & lt; … & gt ;. Democracy & mdash; it is primarily the implementation of laws. For some reason, we get the impression that democracy & mdash; this is Trotskyism, this is anarchy. ”

On the future president of Russia: “ I want the future leaders of the country to be even more successful, even more successful, because I love Russia. ” .

About the third term and dependence on the authorities: “ I was never tempted to stay for a third term. From the first day of my work as President of the Russian Federation, I immediately decided for myself that I would not violate the current Constitution & lt; … & gt ;. You know, people tend to fall for different things. Someone becomes addicted to tobacco, someone, God forgive me, from drugs, someone becomes addicted to money. It is said that the biggest dependence on power. I've never felt it. ”

On Russian-American relations: “ As for how relations between the United States and Russia will be built, I have no big doubts here. Whatever may be said during the election campaigns, the fundamental interests of Russia and the United States will inevitably push the leaderships of both countries to develop a positive dialogue, at least a partnership. ''

About work: “I don’t rule, I just work.”

On the fight against corruption: “ As far as corruption is concerned, there are many ways [to fight] & lt; … & gt ;. One of them, of course, is the development of the media. And we know that the authorities are often scolded for restricting freedom of the media. The public scolds the media themselves for the fact that, in terms of content and style of their work, they often do not meet the aspirations of the population. And they are rightly criticizing us, and you are right. But there is still no other most effective way to fight corruption, besides the development of civil society and freedom of the media. ''

About ill-wishers: “As for the ill-wishers who say that Russia has no place in the G8, I know that there are such recorded ill-wishers of our country. They are still in the last century, they are all specialists in the field of Sovietology. ''

On the fight against inflation: “ Any decision in the field of economics entails certain consequences. Sharp reduction of one or another tax & lt; … & gt; accompanied by an increase in the money supply in the economy. One of our main tasks today is & mdash; fighting inflation, bringing it down to one-digit number. ''

About Sochi and the Olympics: “ We will support Sochi's bid as a candidate to host the Winter Olympics. In any case, we will do this, regardless of the result, because the country needs a modern, developed infrastructurally, a recreation center convenient for the citizens of our country. Sochi & mdash; an ideal place: there is a mild climate, the sea is close, in the mountains in some places there is snow all year round. I myself went skiing there two years ago, but, however, technically it is quite difficult & mdash; we had to land from the helicopter, but the snow lies even in summer, so we will develop Sochi anyway. ”

On the first results of our work: “ A person can never be satisfied with the results achieved if he is of sound mind and memory. You always want more. At the same time, I think that what has been done in the previous period is quite a satisfactory result. We have strengthened the Federation, we have returned the Chechen Republic to the constitutional field of Russia, by legal means, by democratic means first of all. We have taken serious steps to strengthen the economy. We have actually paid off external debts. We have significantly, by millions, reduced the number of our citizens living below the poverty line, and have significantly reduced unemployment. We have increased (incredibly increased) our gold and foreign exchange reserves. But, of course, there are still many problems. And I hope that we will, moving further in the same way, also effectively approach their solution. But for this, of course, you need to work. ''

On the 2004 presidential elections: “ I personally, if I decide to participate in the elections next year and if I am elected, I will not insist on this. Moreover, I believe that in our specific conditions it is not necessary to do this, because it is connected with the need to amend the Constitution, and the very process of starting to amend the Constitution – this is already some element of destabilization. ''

About modern leaders: “There are many people who lead, but there are few modern leaders. This is one of the problems of modern Russia. ''

On the main tasks: “ I think our most important task is & mdash; in getting out of poverty. The most important thing is & mdash; in making people feel safe, in order to strengthen Russia's prestige in the international arena. We are consistently, not as fast, maybe as we would like, but we are acting in this direction. ''

On relations with the EU: “ We are for the development of relations with the European Union. By the way, we welcome the enlargement of the European Union, because the European Union as a whole is our main trade and economic partner. We ourselves & mdash; part of Europe. ''

On who Putin is: “ The first part of your question: who is Mr Putin? Still, I have asked you to spare me the answer to this question. Mneby did not want to give himself characteristics and even more so to stick, as you asked, some kind of labels. I think you and your colleagues will do it brilliantly without my participation. Talented people, such as you all are, do it very well. ''

On the burial of Lenin: 'I am against [the burial of Lenin] and I will tell you why. Our country has lived under the monopoly power of the CPSU for 70 years. This is the lifetime of an entire generation. Many people associate their own life with the name of Lenin. For them, the burial of Lenin & lt; … & gt; would mean that they worshiped false values, that they set themselves false goals and that their lives were wasted. We have a lot of such people. ''

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