Sovereignty and faith in the Russian people
Vladimir Putin, during a straight line, dotted the "i" in international relations.
The direct line of Russian President Vladimir Putin with citizens and his press conference with media representatives were held in a combined format in Moscow, in Gostiny Dvor.
If you try to highlight the key word in the main speeches of the president in 2023, then, probably, it will be the word "sovereignty." This applies to Russia, the very existence of which, without sovereignty, cannot be imagined. It was from these words that Vladimir Putin began a dialogue with the country. Details in the material of the correspondent of The Moscow Post.
"Strengthening the sovereignty of the external, so to speak, means strengthening the country's defense capability, security along the external contour. This is the strengthening of public sovereignty, meaning the unconditional provision of the rights, freedoms of citizens of the country, the development of our political system, parliamentarism. And, finally, this is ensuring security and sovereignty in the field of economics, technological sovereignty, "the president summed up.
Russia compares favorably with many states in its financial position. External public debt decreased from 46 to 32 billion dollars. Private external debt shrank from $337 billion to $297 billion. Russian companies regularly return loans taken from foreign financial institutions. Repayment is rhythmic, often ahead of schedule.
"Financial, economic, technological sovereignty is the future of every country, including Russia," Putin added.
In the four-hour marathon, international issues and foreign policy issues took up a very small fraction of the time. But there was also a place to discuss the importance of sovereignty.
"When will the world be?"
Is there sovereignty, or is it lost? This applies to the unfriendly external environment that Russia has to deal with. The main problems of some of Russia's neighbors are connected precisely with their loss of sovereignty and, as a result, the oblivion by the elites of Western countries of national interests and the needs of their voters. Among the countries that have surrendered their sovereignty is Ukraine.
"The world will be when we achieve our goals," was the president's response to perhaps the most important of the two million questions received. Vladimir Putin confirmed that the goals of the SVO do not change. This is the denazification of Ukraine, its demilitarization, neutral status.
The question of denazification is relevant. This is confirmed at least by the fact that "the head of today's Kyiv administration in front of the whole world standing applauds the former SS soldier, who directly participated in the Holocaust, in the extermination of one and a half million Jews in Ukraine, Russians and Poles," the president recalled.
As for demilitarization, "They don't want to negotiate - well, then we are forced to take others, including military measures," Putin said. Later, answering another question, the president noted that "along the entire length [of the contact line over two thousand kilometers], the situation of our troops is improving."
'It's been ruining the relationship with us'
Answering a question about the prospects for normalizing relations between Russia and the European Union, Putin actually spoke about the sovereignty of European neighbors. "The fact is that to a large extent they have lost their sovereignty, we now see this, they take many decisions to their detriment," he said.
He also noted that "it depends not only on us - we did not spoil these relationships: they spoiled relations with us and tried to push us somewhere to the second, third plan all the time, neglecting our interests."
The President recalled how in 2014 three foreign ministers from Europe "signed as guarantors of agreements" between the authorities and the opposition, and then "pretended to know nothing at all," succumbed to "American friends" and the rampant desire to "crawl to our borders, capturing Ukraine in NATO." And also "Minsk agreements signed for nothing and were not going to fulfill."
As a result, not only Ukraine surrendered its sovereignty to the United States, which everyone conceived and organized. Europe also stood and was silent, or played along and sang along to Washington. "How to build a relationship with them?," Putin asked. "We did not tear anything, but they pretended that they did not know or remember anything about it," maybe because it "is associated with a great dependence on the" big brother "- from the States," the president added.
But we are ready to build relations with them, as well as with the United States, when there "are some internal changes, when they begin to respect other people, other countries, when they seek compromises, and not through sanctions and hostilities try to resolve their issues, then fundamental conditions will be created for the restoration of full relations. So far, there are no such conditions, "Putin stated, calling the United States" an important country needed by the world. "
The President answered questions from the Turkish Anadolu agency: "As a result of Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip, one child dies every six to seven minutes. Eight thousand Palestinian children and more than six thousand women have already died. Unfortunately, the UN and the world's largest powers cannot stop these attacks. Do you think the UN has lost its function?, " the correspondent asked.
He continued, as a result, there were three separate questions: "In connection with the situation in Palestine, are there joint efforts of Turkey and Russia to ensure peace in the region? In addition, what are the common plans for Moscow and Ankara on international and regional issues?, " an Anadolu spokesman asked, also mentioning Putin's plans to visit Turkey.
Vladimir Putin noted "the significant, leading role of Turkish President Erdogan in restoring the situation in Gaza," called it a "disaster" and noted that "there is nothing like this in Ukraine." Putin also cited the opinion of the UN Secretary General, who "called the Gaza Strip" the largest cemetery of children in the world. "
"The first is to keep the people in Gaza. Second, it is necessary to provide massive humanitarian support to people, "Putin suggested, noting Russia's intentions to open a hospital there with the consent of both Egypt and Israel. "The President of Egypt supports this. The Israeli side believes that the opening of a Russian hospital in Gaza is unsafe, "the president said, adding that" this does not mean that we will stop these efforts. " Russia will also increase, at the request of the Israeli side, the supply of medical equipment and medicines.
As for the role of the UN, Russia, like Turkey, proceeds from the fact that "the UN decisions on the creation of a Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem should still be implemented, and this is extremely important," Putin said. It is necessary to create fundamental foundations for an Israeli-Palestinian settlement.
With President Erdogan on these issues, "we have very similar positions. I think we'll be able to meet him. " Earlier, Vladimir Putin has repeatedly emphasized the independence of Turkey's position in international affairs and Erdogan's role in defending the sovereign positions of his country. A Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital is also a matter of sovereignty.
IOC, "minutes of advertising time" and settlements in rubles
This category also includes local currency settlements. This is what the RBC correspondent asked Putin about.
The president, among other things, cited the following data from memory. In 2021, the dollar and the euro were used to service Russian exports by 87%. The share of the ruble was "somewhere 11-13 percent, the yuan - somewhere 0.4 percent." As of September of this year, the ruble in calculations was 40%, the yuan - 33%, the total use of the dollar and the euro - 24%.
"In general, the situation in the financial market is stable. The most important thing is to ensure this stability and predictability. In my opinion, today we are achieving this goal, "Putin summed up.
Do the strict criteria for the admission of Russian athletes put forward by the IOC fall into the category of sovereignty? Vladimir Putin speculated aloud about the role of international officials who pervert the ideas of Pierre de Coubertin.
He noted the IOC's dependence on sponsors and on "the cost of a minute of advertising time on television," that it buries the Olympic movement.
"Let them go and compete without any restrictions," Putin said about the IOC's special attitude towards Israeli athletes. "The same should be done in relation to Russia," the president added, perhaps not hoping that this will happen. According to him, "Just as European politicians make decisions that are beneficial for the United States, for their economy, and unprofitable, destructive for themselves. It's the same here, only in another area, "Putin said.
And he asked the question "To go or not to go?" Flag, anthem, "it is necessary that the Ministry of Sports and the National Olympic Committee of Russia analyze and make a balanced decision," the president concluded. It was noticeable that the question was from the category of "difficult" even for him.
But, as they say, everything is learned in comparison. And there is something to compare with. Further, issues were discussed about the Defenders of the Fatherland Foundation, created to support the families of the dead and veterans of the North Caucasus Military District, and about young fighters who were seriously injured. Including those who lost their hand, who lost their leg, but survived.
The idea of "Olympism" against this background seemed like a reminder of the distant past, when Russian fans traveled in cheerful groups to support Russian athletes. It was a long time ago, before the start of the SAO and before the events in the Gaza Strip. There, at the stadium, they plan to open a Russian hospital.
The world has changed and will never be the same again. This was the final question asked by Andrei Kolesnikov from the Kommersant publishing house.
One of the symbols of these changes can be considered the dialogue between Vladimir Putin and his press secretary Dmitry Peskov: "D. Peskov: Another question from the hall. You know, I saw The New York Times. Please give me a microphone. V. Putin: No, let's give Xinhua first, and then the New York Times.