It lasted 4 hours and 25 minutes and answered more than 70 questions. The 19th annual presidential press conference of the Russian President as always attracted world attention. This year, a record number of 1,895 domestic and foreign journalists attended. The “Marathon” press conference, which has been held 15 times since 2001, has become Russia’s political tradition and an important way to communicate with the world. Speaking of China and Russia, Putin said that the mutual trust between the two countries reached an unprecedented high level; when asked about the historic impeachment of US President Trump, he believed that Trump was unlikely to be fired. Putin also revealed to the world the worst thing he had encountered during his administration. The biggest suspense left is whether the 67-year-old is hinting that he will no longer participate in the 2024 presidential election? Although Putin says he can’t evaluate his historical role, it appears to Forbes magazine in the United States that he has defined Russia in the past decade.
Stop making long opening remarks
On the 19th, the lobby of the Moscow International Trade Center was overcrowded. Global Times reporters saw on the scene that staff had to persuade reporters who did not have seats to watch the live TV at the nearby news center. In order to attract the attention of Putin and his press secretary, the reporters showed their magic, raised soft toys, put on hockey helmets and boxing gloves, and even dressed as “Snow Maidens”.
After sitting down, Putin said straightforwardly that a regular press conference will be held at the end of the year to see how the year has been spent, what achievements have been made, and what has not been done, and analyze why this is the case. Considering that there are many journalists who want to ask questions, he no longer makes a long opening statement, and then enters more than 4 hours of uninterrupted questioning time.
The Kremlin’s standing journalists are given priority to ask questions. A reporter from the “Lighthouse” radio station asked that the weather forecast said that it will not snow until the end of the year. In what environment will the President record the New Year’s speech? Then he asked the question: What will climate change cost Russia?
Such a problem is obviously not difficult to put down Putin. According to Russian media reports, he prepared for this press conference for a long time, including talking with the minister, deputy prime minister and heads of various departments to understand the latest socio-economic data. Putin called global climate change a “new challenge” for Russia, saying that warming threatens the Russian Arctic’s towns built on permafrost. He emphasized Russia’s compliance with the Paris Agreement, but believed that the factors behind global climate change are still unknown and difficult to predict.
Russia ’s “Economy Today” website states that the annual large-scale press conference is an important platform for president-to-social dialogue and has become part of Russia ’s political tradition. In recent years, economic issues and difficulties faced by countries have been high-frequency issues.
The New York Times said that Putin, who has been in charge of Russia for more than 20 years, talked about the economic achievements under his administration on the 19th, saying that if you compare the situation more than a decade ago, it is now almost two different countries. “Russia cannot fail to take advantage of the achievements of the Soviet Union, but those who believe that we live on the legacy of our ancestors are wrong.” He acknowledged that many economic problems have not yet been resolved, but the domestic situation in Russia has stabilized.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) punished Russia for a “four-year ban” earlier this month, which was a hot topic of concern at the press conference. Putin responded more than once. He criticized the decision as having no justifiable reasons, “political” and “unfair” and should not affect innocent athletes. Putin said that Russian figure skaters are almost the only athletes in the world who can do four round jumps, but some people want to “clear them out.” He said the WADA decision did not imply a ban on sporting events. The European Cup will still be held in 2020, and tickets have been sold out.
“The most important thing between Russia and China is not numbers”
What are the most important results of the Sino-Russian partnership? Putin ’s answer to this question raised by a Chinese journalist is: “The most important thing between Russia and China is not the numbers, but that our mutual trust has reached an unprecedented high level.” Russia ’s Tass news agency reported that Putin called it an economy On the basis of success, the bilateral trade volume between Russia and China has passed the US $ 100 billion mark, and it is deciding to increase it to US $ 200 billion per year. Strengthening strategic ties will benefit both the Chinese and Russian peoples. “We have no military alliance with China, and we have no plans to establish it,” he said. The missile warning system that Russia is helping China to build is purely defensive and not an offensive weapon.
On the 19th, a historic day when US President Trump was formally impeached by the House of Representatives. When answering a question from US think tank chief Simes, Putin said that this was just a continuation of US political infighting. The Democrats had previously accused Trump of collaborating with Russia, but it proved to be without such a conspiracy and could not constitute an impeachment basis. Now they find another reason. Putin believes that Republicans in the U.S. Senate are unlikely to fire Trump for fabricated reasons. CNN claims that Putin’s defense of Trump is consistent with the two’s “unusual enthusiasm”.
However, the United States has not relaxed sanctions against Russia. Just before the press conference, the U.S. Senate approved sanctions on Russia’s “Beixi-2” natural gas pipeline project. RIA Novosti reported that Putin said that if the United States imposes new sanctions on Russia, Russia will take tit-for-tat measures. He added that Russia has reached a consensus on signing a New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with the United States, but has not yet received a response. “Without the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, there would be nothing to curb the global arms race.”
The NBC commented that Putin usually focuses on domestic affairs at his annual press conference, but he never shy away from commenting on foreign policy and tensions between Russia and the West. Putin said on the 19th that a multipolar world has been built and a unipolar world no longer exists. The world should not develop into a unipolar world controlled by only one center. Cooperation between Russia and China plays an important role in this regard. He also criticized the US-Japan-ROK military alliance as harmful and unhelpful and would not bring any benefit.
After reading the press conference, Russian political scientist Glashenkov told Russia’s regnum News Agency that this year, reporters did not raise provocative questions on issues related to the international situation.
Putin’s leadership defines Russia
The United States “Washington Post” commented on the 19th that Russia’s economy may not be impressive yet, but in the past year, Putin successfully increased Russia’s global influence and quickly filled the vacuum left by the US withdrawal in northern Syria. And continue to promote close relations with China. “Putin: the art of shaping the public image”, an article on the topic of the US International Policy Digest website said, either driving a fighter to show the image of a tough guy, or singing affectionately in charity activities to show tenderness, and the image of Putin The shape of Russia’s image has played an important role in resolving domestic conflict issues and getting rid of severe scrutiny in the West over the past few years.
Regarding himself, Putin said that he could not evaluate what traces of his presidency have left in history, and the people in the future should evaluate what he has done for the country. He did not rule out the possibility that certain things could not be done, saying that foreign evaluations of him would not affect his defence of Russia’s fundamental interests. Asked about the worst thing that happened during his administration, Putin said that the hostage incident in Beslan and the hostage incident in Moscow Theater “will never be forgotten.”
Putin has been elected Russian president four times. According to Forbes magazine in the United States, Putin’s leadership defines Russia from the last two terms from 2010 to 2019. After years of uncertainty and instability after the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Putin’s policies have shaped modern Russia, and the past 10 years have been the consolidation of these policies. Russia under Putin has defined its new role globally, albeit differently from what the West expected.
On the 19th, Putin’s statement on the presidency caused speculation. Russian satellite news agency reported that Putin stated that the Russian Constitution’s statement that “the same person may not hold the post of President of the Russian Federation for more than two consecutive terms” may delete “continuous”. This means that a person can only be president for up to 12 years. Agence France-Presse said the vague remarks suggest that Putin may not run for president again in 2024. Russian political science doctor Slatinov said that if this is interpreted as a guarantee, then after the transfer of power in 2024, there will be no speculation about whether Putin will “out of the mountain” again in 2030.