Russia's President Vladimir Putin chairs a session of the State Council's Presidium at the Kremlin in Moscow, October 9, 2012. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin Russia's President Vladimir Putin chairs a session of the State Council's Presidium at the Kremlin in Moscow, October 9, 2012. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin

Putin holds traditional year-end press conference

By: MENA
Thu, Dec. 14, 2017
MOSCOW - 14 December 2017: Russian President Vladimir Putin's 13th annual conference has kicked off on Thursday in his first major public appearance since announcing he would seek a new six-year term in March 2018 elections.

This year, the number of Russian and foreign journalists accredited for the event broke last year's record, with 1,640 journalists expected to attend, Russia Today channel reported.

The December 13 event is the last of its kind during his third term in office.

Putin declined to discuss the details of his election program during today's press conference but affirmed that the development of infrastructure, healthcare, education and technology is his priority.

Putin said it wasn’t his job to develop a political opposition though Russia needs a balanced, competitive political system. He criticized activists for simply condemning the authorities rather than offering genuine alternative policies to people, many of whom were unhappy with the situation in Russia.

“Today, there are clear signs of recovery in the economy,” Putin said adding that domestic issues such as health, education, infrastructure and living standards would be his electoral priorities.

“Without any doubt, everything must be directed toward increasing citizens’ incomes", Putin further said.

He noted that the Russian economy Russian economy is set to grow by 1.6 percent this year while foreign investments were doubled this year and reached $23 billion with inflation and the deficit down as the inflation rate is at its lowest in modern history.
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