Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke to the nation in the annual speech to the Federal Assembly yesterday, as the tension brew at home and abroad. The tension is high in Ukraine, and Putin told the West to back off.
In addition to the tension in Ukraine, Putin see some dissatisfaction at home over stagnating incomes and rising inflation, the coronavirus pandemic, and new sanctions from the U.S.
Putin said that Russia must respond to the challenges of climate change and create a carbon recycling industry. «We need to adapt the housing and utilities system, infrastructure and the agro-industrial complex to climate change, to create a system of strict control over carbon emissions,» he said.
«Greenhouse gas emissions should be lower in Russia than in the European Union over the next 30 years. We cannot allow climate catastrophes like the one in Norilsk.»
When it comes to foreign policy, Putin said «If someone uses an arrogant and selfish tone, Russia will always find a way to defend its position. This is turning into some kind of Sport. Who can say something negative about Russia the loudest?»
«We behave in a restrained, modest manner. Oftentimes we do not respond to outright rudeness; we want to have good relations. We are not looking to burn any bridges.»
But this is more serious and Putin is playing hardball; «I hope no one will think of crossing so-colled «red lines» against Russia, which we ourselves will define in each separate case. Russia`s response will be symmetrical, fast and tough.
The organizers of any provocations threatening our core security interests will regret their actions more than they`ve regretted anything in a long time.»
It seems that everyone is already accustomed to the practice of imposing illegal, politically motivated sanctions, attempts to impose their will on others by force.»
«But now this practice is degenerating into something more dangerous. For example, an attempt to organize a coup in Belarus and an attempt to assassinate this country`s president….The West is silent on this matter.»
«You can have any position on Lukashenko`s policies, but staging a government coup and planning the assassination of a head of state is too much.»
There is no doubt that the tension is very high and that Putin is pretty clear; «Russia once again urges its partners to discuss issues related to strategic weapons, possibly to create an environment of conflict-free coexistence.»
More importantly is what Putin said about demographics; «The demographic crisis of the 1940s is hitting us now. The preservation of the Russian people is our highest national priority. Russia will always defend traditional values that have been forgotten in a number of countries,» Putin said.
When it comes to the economy, Putin said; «The main thing is to ensure the growth of citizens real incomes.»
«The pandemic has exacerbated problems of social inequality and poverty around the world. We are faced with rising prices. It is impossible to rely only on targeted, directive measures. This leads to empty shelves, as was the case in the late 1980s.
Now, even at the peak of the epidemic, we did not allow this. With the help of market mechanisms, it is necessary to ensure price containment. I call on the government to take measures to help low-income families with children by July 1.»
«In Russia, single-parent families will receive a payment of 5,650 rubles ($73) for each child from 8 to 16 years old. We need to help women who are expecting a baby and are experiencing financial difficulties.
It is very important for the expectant mother to feel the support of the state so that she can keep the child. To help women in difficult financial situations who are expecting a child…. I propose a monthly payment of 6,000 rubles ($78) per month.»
«Families with schoolchildren will receive 10,000 rubles ($130) per child. It was impossible to avoid budget cuts last year altogether. To support the creation of new jobs, the state will stimulate businesses.
I`m instructing the government to submit additional measures to support small and medium-sized businesses, including in the tax area, within a month.»
«1,63 trillion rubles will be allocated for civil scientific research in Russia until 2024. Russia must be ready to develop test systems and vaccines within days in case of a new dangerous infection.»
«We must have a reliable shield for sanetary and biological safety. We need to have a full range of vaccine manufacturing capabilities. In the event of a dangerous infection, Russia should be ready within four days to create effective test systems, and as soon as possible our own vaccine. These tasks must be solved by 2030,» Putin said in the speech.
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