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

Russian President Vladimir Putin gave his annual press conference on Thursday.

Putin spoke in Russian. The quotes below have been translated into English by Reuters. ON A POSSIBLE CONFLICT WITH UKRAINE

“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 further 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 on the whole 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 must 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 those who live in Donbass. live in this territory. “

ON 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 any purchase requests.” “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 LABELING OF 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 job.”

ON WESTERN OLYMPICS BOYCOTT “This decision is unacceptable and wrong … Sport, like art, must 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 for these vaccines to be distributed as quickly as possible in the world in as large quantities as possible. Otherwise, we will not be able to cope with this problem on a global scale, humanity will live with it all the time. “

ON INFLATION & RATE INCREASES “(Inflation) of 8% is a lot and we must of course come 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 “Herd immunity today in Russia is 59.4% … But it is not enough, we need herd immunity of around 80%. Hopefully next year, somewhere at least by the end of the first quarter or into the second quarter, we will reach that level. “

(This story was not edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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