Putin to hold annual press conference at zenith of tension with West
Russian President Vladimir Putin will answer questions from Russian and international journalists about the political and military crisis at his annual press conference, which he will hold today amid the standoff with the United States and concerns about an invasion of Ukraine.
Putin’s ’20. As the 30th anniversary of the dissolution of the Soviet Union, which he called ‘the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century’ approaches, the Russian leader has sharply stepped up his rhetoric towards Western rivals and neighboring Ukraine in recent weeks.
Observers and diplomats hope to hear details of the “military and technical measures” Putin promised to implement if his demands are not accepted by the White House and NATO.
Many Western officials considered Russia’s demands, which would have significant repercussions on the European security structure, as “unacceptable”.
Without offering anything in return, Putin wants to end NATO and US military support to Ukraine, prevent NATO expansion, and end all Western military activity near Russia’s borders.
Washington and Moscow await talks in January to discuss these issues.
Putin, who has moved from a more friendly relationship to a conflict with the West during his 22-year rule, is now suspected of preparing to invade the pro-Western ex-Soviet country of Ukraine.
Adding to the tension on the international stage, Putin is expected to talk about the pressure on the opposition and civil society, the cost of the novel coronavirus (Kovid-19) epidemic, and the economic difficulties.
The Russian distrust of vaccines and the lack of strict health restrictions hurt people in the country. According to official statistics published by the Worstat agency, in less than two years, more than 520,000 people died in the country due to coronavirus.
However, while population growth is one of Putin’s top priorities, these figures can be underestimated as the magnitude of the natural population decline reached 500,000 in 2020 and exceeded 595 thousand in the first half of 2021.
On the economic front, Moscow is talking about strong growth thanks to minimal health restrictions and high oil prices.
However, Putin will have to reassure the Russians of inflation reaching 8 percent as the slowing economy under Western sanctions has impoverished the population for eight years.
Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitri Peskov reported that Putin prepared for the annual press conference by reading economic reports.