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tv   Russian President Vladimir Putin End-of- Year News Conference  CSPAN  December 22, 2015 1:41pm-2:57pm EST

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believe him, this was not calculated. for the russian policy is right now in the reactive mode. and seeking ways right now mostly targeting turkey, not anything else, seeking to isolate turkey and undergoing the present turkish regime working possible allies i don't know, cargo one, kurt, no matter what. of course, right now, russians and russian military and the kremlin disliked such situations when they have to provide. it's not the russian way. the plans went to the been wind what happened in the 24th of november. and now we are in reactive mode. what comes out in the end right now is not fully predictable. >> thank you. >> a couple of clarifying comments. i feel for you, honestly, and i
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know 8 million internally displaced, 4 million refugees, hundreds of thousands killed. people will not, i honestly feel about it. and our position in iraq was very clear right from day one. it was peaceful and just. at the beginning. people missed the boat, missed the golden opportunity than four years ago, and did not help the syrian people. and that terrorists have hijacked that peaceful, just uprising. and now we are left with between the devil and the deep blue sea. we are between a devil, the evil and must be full. so will you use the less evil to get rid of the evil?
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and then try to do something else after that? that is, politics is all about hard choices, aren't they? and believe me, when what you feel, i feel probably more because my people, tens, thousands of people, my people killed. by this regime. but now we have completely different story you have now. i heard the gentleman saying that isis, well, isis grew, the islamic state was started in iraq. i think more of the speakers, iraq war had been started this terrorism and islamic terrorism.
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9/11 wasn't there before the iraq war. taliban was there before iraq war, before anything else. ladies and gentlemen, please remember one thing, and i say this and i can't get tired of repeating it. there is the most peaceful community on earth was the sunni community and the muslim world. very peaceful. because they believe in their central core of thinking -- [speaking in native tongue] and messenger and those who challenge. this is for decades, not decades, centuries. what happened to them in the last 40, 50 years? what happened to this community? to create talibans, create jihadists all over the world, in yemen, pakistan, 9/11, paris, so
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what is so forth, are wrong. what happened to them? i think one thing, that virus which i referred to, that virus called wahhabists and which infected the mind and gave it is explosion and the heart which create the hatred. and if you go to any mosque anywhere in the world, anywhere in the world, you will see that. you will see that very clearly. juicy 7000 teaching this ideology. you will see more than 11,000 teaching that same ideology in pakistan. you see them all over the world. you see that book, iranfrom wherever you go in the mosque, you'll see the book of wahhabi some. they spend billions and billions of dollars over the last 30, 40 years to promote this ideology.
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is hatred ideology. they have to reverse it. it has to be reversed. i'm not attacking my fellow arab country at all because as i said the saudi royal family, as i said, is a secular, a secular ruling class. i know that i'd have a lot of friends with them. but it's the religious establishment which is what we are talking about. it's the religious establishment which is being funded and given the power, money, and the status by the royal family. and this is what the message has to be to the west. please apply some pressure on your ally, you regional ally, your friends in the region to stop funding these guys. and sorry, i got carried away. [laughter] >> we are five minutes over. no more questions.
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thank you very much for coming. [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> thursday night it's christmas at the white house. user first lady michelle obama speaking to veterans and their families from the east room plus a tour of the white house holiday decorations and annual national christmas tree lighting ceremony. >> when what to my wondering eyes should appear, not a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer. >> with a little old driver so lively and quick, i knew in a moment it must be saint nick. >> more rapid they came, and he whistled and shouted and called them by name.
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now dasher, now dancer, now french and vixen, on comet, cupid, donner and blitzen. >> excellent reading. >> thank you. [laughter] >> to the top of the porch to the top of the wall, now dash away, dash away, dash away all. >> you are not bad either. >> watch our full coverage thursday at 8 p.m. eastern on c-span. >> thursday on cue when they weekly standard senior editor andrew ferguson talks about the 2016 republican presidential candidates, president obama cost overruns and the growing number of journalists and pundits in washington, d.c. tune in thursday at 7 p.m. eastern here on c-span2. in his annual news conference
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vladimir putin addresses russia's tense relationship with turkey following the downing of a russian jet and he answered questions on the state of the russian economy and military operations in transit. courtesy of the english language news channel rt we will show you a 75 minutes of the three-hour press conference. >> translator: colleagues, friends, we regularly meet at the end of the year. this year just recently we had a state of the nation address, and i really don't know what else to tell you. in addition to what i already said there, i guess all the key things have been mentioned, but still of course there are issues that require clarification on our part. and what i say on our part i mean myself and my colleagues,
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the president's office, the government of the russian federation. so let's start specifically with your questions straightaway. >> translator: last year paved a way for a good tradition. we started with a question from one of the most experienced reporters, but we also have alexander from pravda your. >> i like to get afford to him right now. >> translator: thank you very much. thank you very much, mr. putin, for the 11th congress and for the 11th key when they. -- q&a. i studied the reports of the previous press conference, and we discussed the difficult situation in the russian economy, and we ask you how long it will take to overcome this
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challenging situation. and you said that in the worst-case scenario we would need about two years, quote-unquote. so it must be the end of 2016, the beginning of 2017, according to your estimates. now, as your mood changed? have your projections of changed about the end of crisis? because the situation of the country is very difficult, and i'm sure you are well aware of that. what is your next forecast? >> translator: first of all, i'll tell you an old joke. two guys meet, to friends and
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meet. someone says how are you? the other one says, like black and white, then they meet again six months later. so what's the current batch? again it is black. you said block was last to know, that turned out to be white. it's black now. so that's kind of like the situation we are in today when we talked last time and we discussed our plans for the future and what we were going to do to come out of the crisis and what our prospects were. we knew that unfortunately our economy depended a lot on external factors, specifically traditional commodity exports, prices, oil, gas.
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everything, fertilizers. it all depends very much on oil and gas prices, and we expected that the average oil price will be $100 a barrel. this was an early 2014, and all our estimates were based on this figure, all the macroeconomic parameters, revenues, expenditures, social programs. and the economic development ministry use of these parameters for their forecasts. late last year we had to read estimate all those figures because the price fell by 60%. instead of $100 a barrel it was
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$50 a barrel. and our budget for the next year was based on this figure. this feature sounds very optimistic today. what is the current price, $38 a barrel, right? so i guess we'll have to make some further adjustments. still, i would like to use your question to demonstrate what we have come to. of course, after prices for fuel dropped, disaffected other figures, other indicators, gdp dropped i 3.7% as of december 7. the inflation rate is 12.3%. this is important because i guess there will be other questions regarding our prospects at our situation today. so to understand all these
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matters you have to be aware of these figures. our real income has dropped. capital investment dropped over the nine months by 5.7%. at the same time we know that on the whole, the russian economy has come out of the crisis, or rather has passed the lowest point of the crisis, and we see some indications of stabilization in the economy. in september and october gdp grew by 0.3-0.1% from last month. and since in a production now has stopped dropping and there
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was a slight growth, 0.2-0.1%. actually production outgrew production by 0.1%. we see some positive trends in agriculture. there will be 3% growth. and this means that the support we've been providing for agriculture works, grain, crops exceeded 100 million tons. this is a very good result. i'd like to thank our farmers for their work. the situation on the labor market is stable. unemployment is about 5.6%. we know that if we look back at 2008, this is positive trend.
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also, trade surplus grew. the trade turnover has dropped, but we still have trade surplus, $126.3 billion. our reserves are $364 billion. this is still a very impressive figure. a sovereign debt of the russian federation dropped by 13%, as compared to 2014. and capital outflow has reduced significantly. actually in the first quarter of this year, we had inflow, capital inflow, tax burden. this is very important. this is related to sanctions. of course, it might be good for
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us to access to foreign and international finance markets and use that money. but on the other hand, having too many loans also has negative affect. so despite all the restrictions we use, we fulfilled our obligations to our partners, including international financial institutions. we pay all our debts on time, in full. and the total combined, the total debt, aggregate debt, this includes debts by our companies and so on, this debt has reduced. this is something positive. like i said, we actually saw capital inflow. this is also very positive, and i believe, and experts agreed, that this indicates that
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investors realize the actual situation in our economy. and they are getting interested in working in russia. even though the situation is difficult, the fuel industry, oil and gas, are developing 4.6 you want of new facilities will be launched this year. 20 have been launched already. last year we had an absolute record, but 4.6 is also very good figure. and in the next few years we will continue developing this industry at the same pace, it is also very important because this means that the economy on the whole is growing as well and we have enough energy. for economic development. our infrastructure also develops seaports and so on.
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received 19.5 million tons in addition. and the amount of cargo capacity to russian ports grew by 3%. what does this mean? our revenues from exports dropped. why? because of costs. but since we have more, more trade going through seaports, this means that the actual volume of trade has increased. and this is very positive. we develop our airports. and nine months our airports processed 126 million passengers. ..
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quite satisfactory for our current situation in the economy, not more than satisfactory. to keep the federal bullet-- budget balance we kept our reserve funds in this is also very important, our sovereign bonds at this point are at a very good level, 11.8% of gdp. the reserve fund is 3.9 trillion
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rubles mrs. 5.3% of gdp and national welfare fund will be 4.7 trillion rubles. we have fulfilled our social commitment this year and we saw increase of population. this is a good indicator and means people can plan and have children and i'm very happy. the maternal benefit program, we have 6.5 million russian families who have received benefits and as you know we have extended the maternity benefit program in 2016, the maternity benefit will stay at the same level as in 2015.
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453,000 rubles in most providences provided a sufficient number of kindergartens, 97% of the amount needed. life expectancy at the end of this year will be over 71 years. fulfilled our commitments on pension based on 2014 inflation rates, increasing pensions by 11.4%. social pensions have been increased by 10.3% and you started by asking me about the situation last year and what we expect in the near future. well, considering all of this
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situation with the export prices , at this point the government expects that the economy will begin to grow at 0.7% rate in 2016. then, in 2017 we will have 1.9% growth in 2018, 2.4% growth. i would like to point out that all of these figures are based on the oil price of $50 a barrel in the oil price is lower at the moment, but it's very volatile, so we don't want to adjust our forecast and recalculate them because this will reduce funding for social programs and-- but, of course the government prepares scenarios for all kinds
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of situations. the government has to have all of those funds available to them and they had to be ready for eddie kind of scenario. of course, i will reserve gdp growth not limited to exports. like i said, in the state of the nation address, we need to import substitution. of course, this is not a cure all, but this will help many companies modernize, use modern equipment, which will increase the productivity. of of course, we have to continue enhancing our mechanisms in the economy. we have to create attractive environment for businesses.
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we need to support companies in their work. so, this is what we are going to focus on. so, thank you for your questions. gave me an opportunity to use all of these materials i had prepared. >> host: another question from a kremlin pool reporter. >> mr. vladimir putin, you said we passed well that economy, but the situation in the economy is still very challenging. you have urged reforms and this was by your men.
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he said that the policy rate of the central bank is too high and cannot get loans abroad and so they cannot have-- they don't have access to the borrowing here. and we might move to the-- we might have the same model in venezuela, when they had that shadow economy exchange rate and the official exchange rate. the think the policy rate of the central bank should be decreased >> you get a lot of applause after your question. of of course. everyone is worried about this and everyone wants the interest rate of central bank to be lower and as we all knew-- no commercial banks also use as reference in issuing loans to companies, but it is important.
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he does the right thing. he promotes the interest of the businesses and it's very important that we have such an institution and the very reason i established and created this institution is because i want to be able to listen to different opinions because it is so easy to get busy with current work and forget about important things, but first of all i will answer your question directly. i support the policies of the central bank in the government. ensuring macroeconomic stability, number one. number two, even though we may want to lower the interest rates, we cannot do this in an administrative weight and we have to look at the actual situation in that economy and the structure of our economy.
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i often hear in other countries they have different interest rates. of course, they are lower. the very reason they do it, their problems are different and their economic structure is different. we fight inflation and they have a situation where they may have deflation. they have manufacturers who produce goods and arnett able to sell them. this is their problem, but our problem is very different. for us to lower the interest rate, we don't need to fight with a central bank like, you know, they did in the soviet union. we need to help the government to bring down inflation rate. and to reduce inflation expectations and evaluation expect action. if we do this then we can reduce the interest rate of the central
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bank based on market economy, and when it is possible to support the central bank does it already, but we shouldn't push the central bank further because this is not the only problem, but this is one of the key problems in fighting inflation. we may have problems with that that the-- what with the central bank do in addition to supporting the entire banking monetary system of the country and what else does the central bank do? it works together with the government on the so-called project funding programs when the government has certain projects and there is a great
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number of projects and tens of billions may be 360 billion rubles and banks provide funds for all of those programs for commercial banks and then they fund those specific programs. like investment projects in the central bank is also involved there, so there are different interests-- in chairman's that the federal bank uses and i think at this point this is enough to. next question, please. >> now, to be honest, mr. president, are you satisfied with the work of the government? are they taking the appropriate steps in the situation of the crisis?
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maybe we could see a reshuffle? >> no. you know, i-- you probably know this, over the years i treat people very carefully and i think that's reshuffling the government, of the course, not always, but, of course, it's not always necessary, but you really don't need this reshuffling all the time. if someone doesn't do a good job this is my responsibility as well. i think it is my fault as well to an extent, so there will be no major changes in the government. we think together with the government we consider how to enhance its structure, how to make the government more efficient, had to help the
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government focus on the most important areas and we have certain plans like that, but nothing dramatic. it's not just some personnel decisions, no. we just want to make the government work more efficiently. you also ask if i am happy with the government's performance. on the whole, yes. of course, they could do a better job, but for example, early last year we had the anticrisis plan prepared and we began to implement a. i don't remember the exact name of the plan, but anticrisis plan , so when we looked at it, 35% of this plan was not implemented. what does this mean? this is more than one third.
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this means that in many different agencies, ministries they did not do enough. so, implement and respond to current challenges, timely. but, on the whole strategically like i said the government works in the right direction and is sufficiently sufficient. next question. >> i am from the business online newspaper and i have to ask these questions. they have been prompted by the people. in your address, you said we shouldn't equate hard-working people of turkey and the senior
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leadership of turkey. you said that there are good friends in turkey, and as you know they have had a loss of cultural economic ties which are very strong with turkey, so what do we do? do we need to rupture these ties with the whole turkey? the culture of ministry said that we need to break all of the ties, so what do we do with those investors who account for a quarter of all investments into the republic of tedder stand and also in the second question. starting from the first of january 2016, should stopped being called president according to federal law, but this could have a negative affect on the feelings around the world and
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you said it's up to the republic on how we call our leader, so will you insist on changing the title of the head of the country >> well, i thought another-- someone else 20 to ask the question in turkey, so i will respond to both questions. schematic. >> i have a similar question and would like to start by saying in the state of the nation addressed that we don't equate the people of turkey and some of the-- some of those who are directly responsible for the death of our servicemen in syria , but in daily life the situation looks different because we-- the turkish embassy
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in moscow, receives complaints from college students who complain that they have the then dismissed from their schools, turkish businessmen complain that they are discriminated against and one more question on syria. we know your position on the future of the syrian president and russia says it's up to the people of syria to decide his fate whereas the us and their allies insist that he has no political future. did you discuss this issue when john kerry when he was in moscow and will you raise this issue again in new york? >> turkish news agency. relations between russia and turkey deteriorated rapidly and no one benefits from that. both sides will suffer because of that. do you think maybe there is a
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third side, a third a player who was involved in creating the situation? recently we know on islamic situation to fight isis was created and we know there is the nato coalition and then there is the russian syrian coalition, so there are three coalitions to fight isis. is it so difficult to fight it or maybe there are other plans involved. may be isis is not the problem. >> so, i will talk about syria, later and i will go back to the conflict between russia and turkey. we believe the actions of that turkey authorities about towards our plane is not-- it's a
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hostile act. they downed a military aircraft and our servicemen died. if it was just a accidence, and the turkish authorities try to say that they were not aware that it was a russian plane, but what would they do, they should call us and explain, but then what did they do instead, they turned it to brussels and said they were offended. we were trying to threaten them? no, and they were ever-- return use nato as a shield. actually, it turns out it's not in nato's interest. now, my message to the russian people and to the people of
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turkey, it is a tragedy and people died and why were we so offended, we didn't say no to cooperation. when i was at the g20 summit, we talked to the turkish leadership and arc turkish counterparts said there was a number of priorities and as for cooperation. i will not disclose the details, but they raised very sensitive issues with turkey, which are outside of international law. i mean, the decision that the turkish authorities insisted on route side of turkish law and we said, yes, we are ready to help you. we are ready to assist you in your efforts. well, i have never had the turkmen, people in syria.
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i know that's what we have turkmen people living in the republic of turkmenistan, but if we indicated we are ready to cooperate with the turkey on sensitive issues they could've used the existing channels of military-- of cooperation between the military-- well, they could've indicated their interest not to attack these people, but they never said anything. as i said, we were ready to cooperate on the sensitive issues with turkey, so i am at a loss. why did they want to do it? what was their goal? do they think that we will run away from this? rush is not a country like this. we have increased our presence, ramped up the number of aircraft and now we have 400 antiaircraft
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defense system and we have now improving the syrian antiaircraft system. turkey used to violate syrian airspace continuously, so the big question is why. you asked about a third-party. will,-- i get your hint, but we are not aware of that, but if someone in the turkish leadership wanted to lick someone boots, the american leadership, well, it's up to them. may be they had an agreement, and agreements that we will down the russian plane and you will
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turn a blind eye to us invading parts of iraq and occupying parts of iraq. maybe they had an agreement like that. we are not aware of that. anyway, they created this kind of entanglement and from the analysis that i have made i have to you-- isis is a secondary issue right now, so i would like to share my observations with you. earlier, you know, iraq was invaded and destroyed and there was a vacuum that followed and we saw that there was some well trafficking taking place and the situation like that was therefore years and you know, all trafficking is taking place in industrial scale and then to protect this illegal export and production they had to use
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military force. and it's very easy to use the isis. he can use someone exploit someone as an actor, as a proxy, so they started to recruit people and send people and i believe this is the way that isis was created. now, they needed to provide for logistics. when we started to bomb convoys, we see that they only move that night and so they only move in small convoys, 15 cars, but most of the trucks now move via iraq and be it could stand in iraq and i will ask the defense ministry to show you were
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pictures. we have identified an area with 11000 trucks, tanker trucks transporting oil and petroleum products, so if there is a third party as you ask, i am not sure. may be they didn't get approval from anyone. you know, but the turkish authorities have been criticized for high level of islamization in the country and maybe turkey wanted to show europeans and americans that we are islamist, but modern-day islamist like reagan said, he's a bastard, but he's our type of a bastard. maybe it's happened like that, but anyway there's nothing good that came out of it and even if
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they had any goals, they have not achieved those goals. i am now referring to the goals by turkey. they only exacerbated the situation. now, going back to your question on turkey people living in russia. certainly you need to sustain ties with nations that are ethnically close to us. certainly that turkey people living here in russia, are citizens of russia, and i have also said that we continue to maintain good ties with the people of turkey. they look continue to be our friends and we need to maintain contacts with them, but as for the current turkey-- turkish leadership, it's difficult or even impossible to agree on issues and even in those areas where we say we are ready to cooperate, they would stab us in
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the back. due to the reasons to which we don't understand, so i don't see any prospects of cooperation at the state level, but as for the humanitarian area, there are prospects although this also issues challenges and the turkish leadership got what they did not expect and we will have to take some restrictive measures in the economy and in other areas ended this has to do with tourism, for instance, so if he saw what was happening islamization in turkey, we see there are militants in turkey also from russia. we told our partners, we said we don't do like that towards turkey. these are militants that get
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medical treatment, are guarded and then they use turkish passports to penetrate our territory and then we have to track them down in a big cities, so that's what we will have to do. just like taking other steps to ensure our national security. now, as to the title of the head of the country. will, as we say you can call the person whatever he wants, but the most important thing is to not to harm that person. will, it is up to them, but i don't think it will offend anyone. it will undermine someone's interests. as you know, the people micah. offended by these initiatives,
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but that gets in republic says russia needs to help the president. one person who is called president-- well, that was the choice of the people. we will respect any decision made by the people. so, it's up to you to decide on the title of your president. gimmick i am very sorry i wrote down your question, but i forgot. now, the future of the syrian president. i have repeatedly said i and i will do once again, we will never agree to the situation when some outside player would impose their decisions to dictate who should be the leader it doesn't make any sense and we
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discussed that with state secretary kerry. we maintain our position. we believe it's only up to the people of syria, to decide who their leadership should be and what should be the standards and rules, so in general we support the initiative by the united states and the un security council on syria. ..
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and all of the middle east. and we will do everything to resolve this crisis. and any solutions must be acceptable to all besides. -- to all besides. we need to work together first to draft a constitution and a set out the mechanism, mechanism
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of supervision over future action and a massive credibility with every plan. and based on the democratic procedures, it's up to the syrian people to decide on the future form of governance and who then it should be. >> translator: to continue with syria. do you have a clear plan for syria, or are we just being reactive, turkey downs bomber and we increased our military operation in syria? wendel operation be over? what will be the final point of this operation? what is the final goal? and do you think it is possible to resolve this syrian conflict politically? you mentioned that already, actually your. >> translator: that was what i
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was trying to respond to. number one, we believe it is possible. number two, we see no other solution to this problem. this is inevitable, and we will have to do it sooner rather than later that there will be fewer casualties, fewer threats, including for europe and the u.s. as now he remember that ice is penetrated the u.s. and the law of force but admitted that the san bernardino shooting was a terrorist act. so the sooner we do, the better for everyone. 14 people were killed in the san bernardino shooting. so the only political solution, then we have a plan? yes, i just laid it out for you. and the major point that coincides with the vision proposed by the u.s. we need first to come together
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and work on the constitution. and we need to establish mechanisms of control over the next election. then we have the election and the election results must be acknowledged. similarly there are a lot of grievances. someone likes this group. someone like another group. someone doesn't want to work with the syrian government. but certainly everyone needs to find some strength to move towards each other to meet each other halfway there as for the military operation that russia is conducting in syria, as i said, we will support the offensive of the syrian army. we will continue to do it until the syrian army needs to conduct those operations. now, as i said, this was the idea of francois hollande to
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combine the efforts of the sudan government army and similar parts of the opposition forces against isis. so partially we have been able to do it. we are now in contact with the units of the syrian opposition, that's armed opposition. that's willing to fight isis and are almost doing it, enterprise particularly doing it. and we support their efforts with our bombers, just like we do that when we support the offenses of the syrian government army. we can see that the political process has now been launched and so when the syrian government said that we should lay down the arms and we should start negotiations, well, we don't want to be involved any
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longer. so the sooner it happens the better. >> translator: sergey lavrov, i'd like to add what my colleagues from turkey and other said. do you think it's too late now to talk to turkey? is there anything erdogan might do to fix the situation? this is first. and second, you said we shouldn't be a mysterious to a a greater extent than syrians themselves. but since we've increased our task force, made we should make it a permanent military base in the middle east. >> translator: i don't want to speak on behalf of the heads of other states. if they feel that we need to do something, it's up to them. we have not seen any steps taken by them. that's it. now back to your second part on
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the military base. you know, we have different opinions on that. some say in the u.s. and eu that your interests will be taken into account. that's when they speak to russia. do we actually need a military base? what is a military base, now that you think of it? it requires a lot of infrastructure. you need to invest into it. so currently we have russian aircraft. we have temporary modules. way they sleep, where they feed. we can put it all together and go back to our airfields for a permanent military base. that's a completely different story. some say we need to have this military base, but i'm not so certain about it. i've talked to our european counterparts and they are telling me, you want to the
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military base. i say why? if they say you want to keep everything under control. but do we actually need to keep things under control there? so we've not had any intermediary range missiles. we destroyed everything. we all have ground-based ones. the u.s. and destroyed their stockpile, to. but what about their sea-based and aircraft are based intermediate range missiles? we now have those missiles. so we have the sea-based, which the distance, the range is 1500 meters. we also have the aircraft based ones. the distance is enough to reach the targets that we need.
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so we need to think about it. maybe we could stay there for some time, but it's hard for me to say whether it makes sense to a stylish a permanent base. we will think about that. >> translator: let's just limit it to one question per person. >> translator: what about ukraine? a fraternal nation, continue to say that's our brothers. thank you very much for this opportunity to ask your question even though we are not turks. we are ukrainians. mr. president, more than once you said there are no russian
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military personnel into eastern ukraine. i would like to say hello to y you. are you going to exchange them -- and other people? and if possible my second question, the minsk agreements are going to expire soon. neither party has fulfilled their obligations under the minsk agreement, so what will happen on january 1, will do resumed her offensive or will you offer negotiations? or maybe you'll forget about ukraine for a time? thank your. >> translator: as for exchange, we never said that there are no people who might be
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doing some of the things come including in the military. but that doesn't mean for our regular russian forces, just different. you mentioned some of the people, to russians which you want to swap with someone, which are here in russia. and this leaves you mention of ukrainians is very long. so any exchange must be equal ones. you can only swap an equal number of people for an equal number of people there. so certainly we need to talk to colleagues. we need to listen to what the president of the ukraine says. we need to free people which are detained by both sides, and primary that refers to the people from the east of ukraine, and the ukrainian servicemen detained on those territories.
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but as i said you can only swap an equal amount of people. it's not a secret that the ukrainian authorities believe that, consider those who have been detained, those people from southeast, those who are in jail, they are criminals. they are considered criminals, not worth of swapping. other people of donetsk disagree with that. we need to use the approach proposed by president poroshen poroshenko. everyone should have the same status. have a lot of disagreements with the government government, withe leadership of ukraine but we support his initiative to treat everyone equally. now january 1st, the deadline for the minsk agreements, well,
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we believe that our economic ties with ukraine will worsen because we are forced to cancel the free trade zone agreement with ukraine. senior leadership of the eu asked me not to exclude ukraine from this free trade agreement. hoping for the fact that we can sort it out in a trilateral format. they said that we will have negotiations during the year to adjust to those new economic
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realities. so they said there will be adjustments made in the form of additional protocols which will alleviate our concerns, the concerns of the russian federation, about the association agreement between ukraine and the eu, something that would ensure our economic interest. and four july we asked the eu hundreds of times for a contact. and only these contacts started only in july. so the first contacts started only in july. and they didn't yield any results. we met with the head of the european commission. we met with a chance to of germany in turn one and discussed this issue. our goal was to maintain our
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economic ties with ukraine, the ukraine is a member of that free trade zone agreement, and the tariff rate is zero. and ukraine uses the same technical rules that rush and other countries are using. and now ukraine is pulling back from that regime they want to adopt the european rules and regulations. and it says that all the ukrainian markets must comply with the standards and regulations of the eu, but our good did not conform to these requirements yet. so what do you do with our goods? are you going to throw away ration goods from the ukrainian market? and it's also said that ukraine has the right to keep both
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regulations. it has the right but it doesn't mean that it's going to do it. it just has the right. and if the document says that subcommission could be established, could be established again, it's not a requirement to establish. and they wanted us to keep all the preferences, all the privileges were ukraine. it's not rocket science. you don't need to be an expert. it says that our customs rules across the cis most conform to harmonize with the european ones. and i told my counterparts in paris, you know, we had a long-standing debate with belarus and kazakhstan on those rules and regulations. and now i told my counterparts in paris, you want us to change
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all the rules and regulations in one year? it's not possible. it just requires more time. it also says we need to switch to a different -- to senator requirements and standards of the eu. we are ready today to do it, and you know, even if we can do it it takes a lot of time. it takes investment. and its investment to the tune of tens of billions of dollars. and in paris my counterpart says that european standards are better. yes, that's true, and we're willing to do it. we need the money. we need investments, and they as you know they have banned access of russia to external markets. so they told me they need to get
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acquainted with the documents be sent to us. and i told them, well, you didn't read those documents which is said to us, and you want us to say yes and sign those documents? now, we don't want to introduce any sanctions against ukraine. that's my message. we just switched from a free trade agreement, from a free trade agreement to a preferential regime. awaiting ukraine gets the same rules, same rights as other countries. what would that mean in practice? it means that currently tariffs are due in trade between ukraine and russia, but the average tariff would be a round 6%. it could be three in one
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category, but it's not our choice. we are fighting against this but they never, they didn't want to hear our call. and it happened just like i told you. was the style, that was the tone, but we will continue to work together even under circumstances that we currently see. now, to be honest, we don't want to exacerbate the conflict. we want to resolve this conflict as soon as possible. but you do, people, they should not be done at the expense of the people in the east of ukraine. they should not be destroyed. now, if you look at the results, election results in eastern ukraine, the opposition got most of the seats.
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43% voted for the opposition in those areas of the donetsk region which is controlled by the official key authorities. so we very much hope he will listen to their goal. we very much hope that we will have a straightforward, open dialogue. everyone is saying come on, russia, you need to implement the minsk agreements. but look at the document. the ukrainian constitution must be changed and that must be implemented. and also agreed with the people of donetsk. they also have the rule of special status of a dime vast under the region so just on a permanent basis? yes. but i'm telling everyone this
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law was passed for three years and one year has passed. the european colleagues asked president poroshenko is set to? yes, it is true. is only for three years and european counterparts say that this law of the special status must be made on a permanent basis. it was passed by the ukrainian parliament. and together with the law of article 10 which says that it will only be implemented after the election. so again it's been delayed, and so they are telling us okay, the minsk agreements call for the passing of that law and we passed that law. so it's just formal compliance. so we are ready to convince.
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let's work together we are ready to convince the people in the southeast of ukraine so that there's a compromise. we are willing to do it but it's not up to the ukrainian counterparts to have the same desire. >> translator: mr. putin, you just said that russia has stepped up its military presence in syria. you mentioned the as 400 antiaircraft defense system. but we are under sanctions. oil is getting cheaper. we also have economic crisis on our hands. will rush have enough finances for that? because we need to spend on the increase for the military presence. there's so many problems, so
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many issues and certainly i don't only mean finances. sometimes it's easy to start a war than to finish it. >> translator: we did not start this war. we are just conducting operations using our air force, our air defense systems, our intelligence, and this is no serious burden for the budget. some of the funds we intended to spend on military training, and the military exercises, we just channeled those funds into our operations in syria.
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we have to add a little bit of money, but this is an insignificant figure for the budget. you know that we have a large scale military maneuvers. for example, center or east, thousands of personnel, thousands of troops move from one place to another. hundreds of aircraft is used so we'll just use some of those funds for operations in syria. this is the best military exercise you can imagine. so actually we can continue this for a long time, and this will be not that much of a burden for our economy. and other issues you mentioned, yes, this is really a problem. i mean, economic issues we face
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today, but i already told you what we are going to do, and we talked publicly about that. so what can i say? going back to the economy, like i said earlier we need import substitution and its not an end in itself. we need to modernize our economy, increase our productivity, enhance our business climate, generate demand. this is also an important economic driver. we need a whole number of measures that the government plans, and we will do all that. as for the new american president did, we'll have to see that person will be. but regardless of who that, of who is elected, we are willing
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and ready to develop our ties with the u.s. and the recent visit by state secretary indicated that washington is also ready to move forward to work together with us on points of convergence, although this is which we can only result together. it's a common sense approach. we have supported it. we will supported or quit never tried to isolate ourselves, and it's up to the people of the u.s. to elect the president. it's washington is trying to lecture us on who to elect and what procedures to use. and you know it's a dangerous. if there's an observer who comes close to five meters to the polling box, then they could be jailed it is very dangerous to tell anything to the u.s.

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