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tv   Russian President Vladimir Putins Annual News Conference  CSPAN  December 20, 2018 5:22pm-6:36pm EST

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>> the u.s. senate is currently in recess as i wait for the house to take action to extend government-funded past the deadline of midnight friday. while we wait for the senate to return, a look at russian president vladimir pete annual uranus comes in moscow. during this portion of the event he responds to questions on the u.s. withdrawing troops from syria, brexit negotiations in the u.k., the protestant friend, the threat of a nuclear arms race with the u.s. and the
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situation in afghanistan. this is an hour and 45 minutes. >> i'm sorry -- that she would have a chance to ask the question. we were all afraid of the nuclear war. we had songs about as they are not afraid now. so, some 40 years and now major publications are now publishing this scenario and exchanges between the u.s. and russia. now we hear it more and more often tenuous the president hoped to pacify my little son who just like me is afraid of the nuclear war. what can you do to do that? >> you know, i think that you're actually right.
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the danger of the situation is being downplayed. it now seems to be impossible. something not of crucial importance. but at the same time, something that would have been. this might lead to the collapse of the entire civilization and maybe our planet. so this is indeed a very important question. unfortunately, we tend to underestimate the current situation. there are risks in our day-to-day life with the collapse of the international system of arms control moving away from an arms race. often, the united states
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withdraw for this treaty that was the cornerstone for non-proliferation and putting an end to an arms race. we had to respond with creating a new type of weapons to overcome this defense system. and now we hear that russia has an advantage when it comes to weaponry systems. of course other countries in the world do not possess such systems but they are going to develop such systems and that provides us with a certain advantage. this is about having equal conditions when it comes to avenues. now they're make in another step and they are withdrawing from the inf treaty, so it's going to come out of that? it's hard to imagine what is going to happen next. if they would be position in
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europe, what are we going to do? we need to ensure we are saved and then they would be complaining that we have an advantage. we are not striving to have an advantage. we are striving to keep a proper balance, ensure security. the same goes for the new treaty. it expires in 2021. we don't have any negotiations in place as of yesterday are not interested in that. that's okay. we can ensure our safety. we know how to do that. but for humanity in general, this is a bad thing because it leads us to a very risky -- [inaudible] there is a time to lower the threshold of actually using those weapons. they want to make a small scale
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nuclear weapons in order to use them tactically. some analysts already expressing some ideas that perhaps it nodded such a bad segment delivering the threshold might lead to a global nuclear catastrophe. secondly, the use of ballistic missiles, non-nuclear ballistic missiles, although our american partners seems to have decided against it, but it is fair. the ballistic missile has been launched nonnuclear and the prevention system they report the place of launch and in several seconds they define a very and the forcible target. but there is always this error margin and we should not let
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escalation happened. in any case, there is this idea to use the ballistic nonnuclear missiles. for example, a and would launch such a missile and we don't know whether it's nuclear or nonnuclear. it's very hard to tell. so this is very, very dangerous and being hyped up and discussed in this is what is dangerous. but i believe that they humanity would have been necessary, and then in the desire to survive in order not to lead to an extremities. now we are moving onto this sector. i see the ukrainian flag. it is you who is always present at this event. you are from ukraine. this is our colleague from ukraine. michael has said we should not let him ask a question because he's going to make a row. are you going to make a row? >> yes please.
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i want to ask about the carriage incident. you're not from ukraine but my question is about ukraine. i want to ask about what is going to happen to them and was so successful. and what about detainees and prisoners in these u.s. and defend their rights and maybe we should use the experience of chinese partners for example in canada a chinese citizen, their financial direct her of huawei was detained. i would actually divide your question to several parts. do you believe it was successful? now we can say that this was a provocation and you agree to that. whether it was successful or
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not. i believe that provocations are never successful so to say. a provocation seeks to escalate the situation. and why do our ukrainian partners need this? they have -- in order to boost one of the presidential candidates. i mean, the current president of ukraine of course. but this is no good because it harms the interest of the people in the interest of the state. we can work in a calm manner without any provocations. as to whether was successful debut when it comes to boosting ratings because pershing goes rating didn't grow. he used to be ranked five and now his second or third. there is this margin of 12%.
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more than 20% while polanski and the rest of them in poroshenko have some 12% rating. so i guess that he did accomplish something, but he did sacrifice the interest of his country. so this is a bad way to boost your rating. as for this feature in the state of the ukrainian military man, they were sent to die actually. and they see that the ruling circles are not satisfied with the fact that no one died because they wanted some of them to die, but fortunately this is not the case. the investigation isn't going in after that we will determine what to do. and not give the floor to her colleague from ukraine. [speaking in native tongue] >> translator: thank you --
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[inaudible] how much is spent to support, occupied to done boss because they are living -- they are poor you are afraid of nuclear catastrophe, nuclear war, but at the same time we are getting ready with nato. you are order to shoot at our changing them. now about elections. conditions of exchanging them. ukrainian prisoners in the ukrainian pows. you need russian citizens. now that elections. you keep analyzing ratings. i'm not analyzing, and just thinking about. you are intervening into the
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election process like you've done in the case of united dates in the past. don't you think it could happen that there will be no direct dialogue between the ukrainian russian president until you change your job? >> well, okay, as to the people suffering, you are ukrainian citizens then you believe that these people are your citizens come ukrainian citizens, those who live in this territory. who actually composed blockade to dunbas from other territories come ukrainian government. the imposing on the percent economic lock a to reconsider their own. they believe that they are
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ukrainian citizens. every day men and women are dying. we are supporting them. we are helping them. people living in dunbas only to help them to survive, to avoid the situation when they were killed and emulated. we'll keep doing this because trying to solve political issues using force and we keep noticing this for many years already and the ukrainian government keeps doing this. so that should be understood. now how we should settle our relations. who will stay in a position of power or not. it's not the main thing. the main thing is our attitude towards people. we would like to see dunbas
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peaceful be one of the main trade partners. to know what it's growing. i am talking about last year and this year. it's not french. we have mutual relations and they are demonstrating, but we have -- who do not understand their own interests. independently who was holding the position of power in the kremlin. now we are --
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[inaudible] representing poroshenko is dealing with this and recently he came to moscow and he talked about letting the pows from those whom we detained and also touched upon this. it is possible to solve these issues. [inaudible] >> afternoon, dear colleagues. [inaudible] the project dealing web gifts
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from orphanages with problems. but actually, we are facing in difference. they view us as just a refueling station for what i'm trying to do i don't understand. we are trying to build a soccer field for kids from orphanages in families with problems, for them to be able to demonstrate their abilities. you're an ngo or white? we are an organization -- [inaudible] you are a commercial organization. yes because we don't see how we could implement this project. call my trying to do it to solve this issue, citing from property committee, use policy and sport
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committee they just keep kicking us out. what is the budget of the project? 11 million. >> well i'll talk to the governor and i am sure we will solve this problem. federal information agencies. we didn't give them the floor. >> i'd like to congratulate the counterintelligence officers. no microphone, i'm sorry. our intelligence and counterintelligence and information -- is the same. we are dealing with information.
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so i am from the information age is the and recently our society and mainly our youth is facing activities of government which provoke a rather tense situation. you know about doubting my ability is. i have represented our trustees. to counter the council dedicated to the council you said that you cannot oppose the move meant you should become the leader of this movement.
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[inaudible] why our state is trying to intervene. they are probably using, but nothing bad about this. another problem related to or used. now, everybody is preoccupied with the legislative initiative. if you say something about our state, about our government, then you will be held responsible in this responsibility will be even tougher. don't be afraid to lose youth at the possibility to lose are actually a choir authority among young people. when they tell me about young people it reminds me of arthur were awake tragic history.
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let's remember the company and our airborne company. 99 persons after three days of combat. they use knives to hold their positions. 18-year-old, 20 year old boys they are heroes. during our world cup. 30,000 volunteers work better and people who are looking for remnants of world war ii. all of them are young and this society, this part of the
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society has huge roots and they are young people. they are the basis for it today and the future of our country. we have young scientists. we have talented musicians as well. as to the holding responsible -- and we shall respect our country. there are rules that shall be impaired if you have responsibility also done or you have responsibility also done or not we should assume responsibility inside. what is the difference? internet is part of our day-to-day lives. it is in all aspects of our life. i agree with this. no need to do this.
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nothing good here. but at the same time, nothing good -- [inaudible] let them do this. recently i assist to 80 years old. but he said the right thing. art exists not to support low and surest or a low profile of our culture. it exists to upgrade this level. that's why -- well, will be punished because of that. it's not correct. it not right. but there are other things. it will broadcast it directly and i talked to my interlocutor
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at the meeting of the council of the culture. less just argue. this idea didn't cross our minds, which does not support this. but there are other things, like for example, why do we need our youth to use drugs? why should we support does? it will lead to degradation of power. we don't want that. someone would like to view this propaganda of drugs. we don't want to do this. we show pose a different way. we will talk about suicide among
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young people. i don't want to be the first. you don't want those. so we shall not be different when it comes to our youth, but we shall be smart in doing this. we shall use different methods here. do we have this method? yes, we have methods and means. we should become and we shall come to -- we shall show the other values. from japan just in the middle
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microphone please. >> afternoon, vladimir. my question unfortunately has to do with our peace treaty. which we are aiming not after your meeting in singapore -- [inaudible] to stop the negotiation process on the soviet japanese declaration of 1966. so we are preoccupied. how many islands would do better? zero, one, two, three, four, i don't know. on that hand, russia could not understand why should we give the ireland. different people telling us --
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[inaudible] >> this is about demarcation, something we have to do. so what about if it only confines of delineation that is going to be -- so what do you think? what ideas should be given to all of this? what do we need in order to prepare our relations to a new level of quality and in that regard if you allow me i ask a question. recently the russian side in you in particular have been raising the issue of security, referring in particular to the deployment of the american abm system in japan as well as the potential deployment of the american troops or the military
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infrastructure on the island should these islands be transferred to japan. we have negotiations ongoing, but given the fact japan is almost entirely dependent on the u.s., do you think these issues can be addressed at the bilateral level or will they have to talk directly to the united states of america? >> let me not forget which you ended your question when and that is why you like to say that security issues are very important especially when the peace treaty is concerned you asked about the american military infrastructure in japan. already asked if they are with the huge american military base that has been there for several decades now. as for japan's chance to participate in these decisions. this is sort of a black box for
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us. we do not understand how sovereign japan is when decisions are concerned. you understand better than the rest of us colleagues and i know that the governor -- [inaudible] is against some of the decisions on expanding this military base. he can do nothing about that and the people are also against that and you don't have to go far to find that out because that's what people say when they take to the streets. they demand it should be withdrawn. what they are against is the reinforcement of the air component of the american forces deployed there. there are plans of reinforcing the base and developing it. everyone is against god and yet that is happening.
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what happens after the peace treaty is agreed upon, that will have an answer to that question is going to be extremely difficult for us to take any radical decision and certainly what we're concerned with the plans deploying abm systems in japan. i said that on many occasions now i'd like to reiterate the american nuclear strategic potential that is transferred to the periphery and these systems are synchronized with the conventional systems. we understand them yet we will seek a peace treaty with japan. i am confident as well as prime
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minister ayub about the current state of affairs is not normal. both japan and russia are interested in truly resolving the issues that remain in our relations not just because we want something from japan from the point of view of economics. just today -- [inaudible] there is some progress that has been in agreement in some of the japanese markets were russian products like po chi and there's also progress in other avenues and there is going to be progress because that is what life compels us to do because of the peace treaty and the differences that we are willing to work with our colleagues to move forward.
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they have recognized that is responsible for violating the broadcasting roles -- [inaudible] maybe we'll get a chance to ask a question. good day. i've got a question unrelated to what they decided. i would like the recent decision on facilitating the procedure for granting russian citizenship to ukrainians and has been covering this issue a lot in particular covering the bureaucracy, but what is the rationale behind them done in five minutes okay -- to help that part of the country and why
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do that now. still going to persist the red tape's that is going to be different. and another question regarding the colleagues have said. the assassination of khashoggi the saudi journalist in the reaction has been detained, has been another reaction. there is also the arrest of the financial director of huawei and trump has publicly said he just important in the war with china. so questions have been raised whether we'll see a new practice emerging when citizens are going to be detained in order to exchange them for someone.
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let me start with the last part of your question. i would hate to comment on what is happening in the u.s.-china relations. whom detained him in response to actions is a very delicate field and we are not going to act as the principles in the laws cause eye for an eye, tooth for tooth is the principle laid bare. we have to act very cautiously and in conformity with the reality of the people who violate russian legislation regardless of their nationality we are going to hold them accountable, but were not going to detained in the innocent people to exchange them from
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anyone. as for the state of the future of our citizens, trying to make her confess something. i don't know why she can come to us. she has not been acting under any data from the russian authorities whatever she says because of the threat, because of the intimidation and this pressure on her, and the prospect of sitting for 12 years in a prison. i do not know why she's been put in prison and there's no foundations for that, but everyone wants to emerge with their rep reputation intact. but of course were not indifferent to the future are going to monitor and support her there is nothing to comment on in khashoggi has been
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assassinated. everyone has recognized that were another matter entirely. one thing has led to the scope of sanctions in the other two complete silence. that is yet another pretext in order to mount yet another attack on russia. they would have come up with something else. there is only one behind it and that is to constrain russia to prevent it from developing because we have seen that arrival. now moving onto the next part of your question, the bureaucracy of the red tape involved in requiring citizenship. i'll bureaucracy is eternal, nor can one live without it.
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but rules have to be set forth. certain procedures for decision making us for granting the russian citizenship, just doesn't have to do with what is happening in the east of ukraine. we are not just doing it for those people who live in those territories. if we do that, if we facilitate the procedure now, the government is preparing the amendment to the law on citizenship and the acquisition of citizenship. i'll tell you why it is being done. it is being done in order to demonstrate to everyone that we do not seek nor are we going to see policy aimed at separating the russian people from the ukrainian people. what are the current ukrainian authorities doing? what are they trying to achieve using this phobia the furor and
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they say that almost publicly they are trained to and that is why everything is given to them. your colleague from the ukrainian media has mentioned the tribulation. the people are going through the level of life is very low, but what about the rest of ukraine? the standard of life is almost as low as in the dunbas and amid the hostilities intentions, everything is given to the authorities within the country and they get yet another trench from the imf and another bulk of money. but this is only going to be enough to pay the pensions in
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the future generations will have to pay for this loan. the situation there is not that good in the economic sphere and the social sphere internal politics and yet our people are very close. we're going to do everything in order to support this proximity. right now amendments are being prepared to the citizenship law and these amendments are going to be passed early next year. maybe regional media, the newspaper, and a very small placard. could you speak a little bit louder, please? >> ester president, i would like to raise the issue of the recent election of no secret that in
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several regions the elections have been very emotional, very tense. sometimes it has taken a lot to complete the elections and if only over now took two months to vote, but after this protest vote, opposition parties arrived in power. we've got a candidate from the communist party and the vladimir region in a liberal democratic party and that begs the question, why do you think this has happened? ..
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>> translator: the federal center is going to deprive these regions of financing. please do not worry about that. it's very strange question. elections have just been completed, and that is why the meetings have not yet happened. i think they are already scheduled. next week we are going to have the state council, and i've given instruction a separate meeting with the newly-elected heads of regions. the territories. like you have mentioned in particular, we had to wait for the outcome of the election. that's the first thing. secondly, this is not the first time when we see our position for the candidate arrive in power -- [inaudible] you know that the liberal democratic party candidate is the head of small -- region and
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i think opposition party and other regions, there are communists in power, and they're working very well. >> translator: i'm not a member of any party, i was one of the founders of the -- but president should not be a party member in this country. what matters most for me is that the people in the -- [inaudible] should feel that their life is changing for the better. once they decide to support this or that person who is not representing the united russia party, it's up to them to decide. and i will help and avail any of the elected heads of regions. but the point is that this person elected should be up to the task and be able to deliver on his electoral pledges to people. okay, let's continue. the one from the pool yet to ask a question.
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lena, good day. i have a poster representing -- [inaudible] and as my colleagues have said, for a number of years we have been under huge, a great deal of sanctions, and we get confused and sometimes even the cartoon protagonists are subject to sanctions. but they want to impose even stricter sanctions like the american lawmakers are getting ready for that. is russia -- does russia brace itself for the new round of sanctions, and does the government have a plan to minimize the effects for the economy, and what may these after-effects be? well, we mentioned these sanctions on many occasions. if you want me to repeat that, okay. in the course of our history, the russian federation, russia
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has lived on the restrictions and sanctions throughout all our history. let's go, look back to the 19th century and the 12th century. it's all the same. just leap through the diplomatic -- leaf through the diplomatic correspondence, it's all the same. our diplomats were called to bring caucuses to -- and to this and that. why so, with what is it linked? i said that before, and i hope you understand, most of you understand it is because the power of the russian federation has been rising, the competitiveness is on the rise. there is a new, powerful stakeholder to be reckoned with, and many people, many people in many parties don't want that. and it seemed a while ago that this country was moving to an existence, but, you know, we
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have the population of 160 million people, and we have been upholding the interests of our people with reserve and restraint, with calm and peace, and we will keep doing that. and the -- [inaudible] case was cited -- [inaudible] and it has no additional measures to contain the russian federation. our economy has been adjusting itself to these new restrictions. i mentioned at the outset of today's press conference that after the, -- after the '08 global downturn, our gdp fell without any sanctions. and of after the sanctions were imposed, the gdp slump was to
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.5% only. you asked me how we assess the after effects. well, our assessment definitely from our own perspective it is one thing, but let's look at how the opponents of ours assess the sanctions like the treasury department of the u.s. believes that this 2.5% fall in 2015 is related only by one-third the sanctions and the two-thirds is because of this, of this fall is because of the slump in the hydrocarbons price. i think that the share of sanctions is less than one-third. and it backfires on those who impose the sanctions like the european economy lost around 500 billion euro as a result of the sanctions imposed. they have not been able to supply as many goods and items
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as before, and they have not within -- they have not been able to import as many things as before. and the number of jobs has waned, which is quite sensitive to them. in many european countries, the unemployment rates are high. like in spain, it's at around 15%. and here we have in this country 4.8%. in spain they have a 15% unemployment. and the global trade development that went down by 14 something billion dollars, it's also an after-effect of the predictable sanctions policies, and it's detrimental to everybody. our economy has been adapting to that. it has adjusted itself to sanctions despite some negative repercussions. but the, some of the positive things like we have started thinking and using our own mind
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and using our own resources. the chair of our own domestic vehicle manufacturing industry is 97% or 75% for some of the groups of vehicles. other technical devices. last year and this year we spent 600 million rubles on -- [inaudible] and the federal budget -- and the agricultural exports have
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increased 16 times in the past years. so we would like the global economy to develop not without any shocks of illegitimate action or external constraints for the benefit of the global economy. okay, this time -- [inaudible] okay. but, you know, i see the sign kgb and children. today's the 20th of december which is the kgb, used to be the kgb day. why this sign, kgb and children? please pass the mic over 1660. >> the clerk will report. to cod
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so forth. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the bill be read a third time and passed, the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table, with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of calendar number 587, h.r. 6287. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 587, h.r. 6287, an act to provide competitive grants for the operation, security, and maintenance of certain memorials to victims of the terrorist attacks of september 11, 2001. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. mcconnell: i further ask consent that the amendment at the desk be agreed to that the bill, as amended, be considered read a third time and passed and the motion to reconsider be
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considered made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the committee on the judiciary be discharged from further consideration of s. 2432 and the senate proceed to its immediate consideration. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: s. 2432, a bill to amend the charter of the future farmers of the america and for other purposes. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the measure? without objection, the committee is discharged. the senate will proceed. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that the young substitute amendment at the desk be considered and agreed to, the bill, as amended, be considered read a third time and passed, and the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that the committee on e.p.w. be discharged from further consideration of h.r. 3460 and the senate proceed to its immediate consideration.
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the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: h.r. 3460, an act to designate the united states courthouse located at 323 east chapel hill street in durham, north carolina, as the john hervey wheeler united states courthouse. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the measure? without objection, the committee is discharged, and the senate will proceed. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the bill be considered read a third time and passed and the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to immediate consideration of s. res. 739 submitted earlier today. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: s. res. 739, congratulating the maryland terrapins men's soccer team of the university of maryland college park for winning the 2018 national collegiate athletic association division 1 men's soccer national championship. the presiding officer: there objection to proceeding to the measure?
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without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, and the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table, with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent that s. 3720 be discharged from the committee on commerce and referred to the committee on banking. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: i ask unanimous consent the majority leader and the junior senator from indiana be authorized to sign duly enrolled bills or joint resolutions on thursday, december 20, and friday, december 21. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: now, mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today, it adjourn until 12:00 noon friday, december 21. further, that following the prayer and pledge, the morning hour be deemed expired, the journal of proceedings be approved to date, and the time for the two leaders be reserved for their use later in the day. finally, following leader
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remarks, the senate be in a period of morning business with senators permitted to speak for up to ten minutes each. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mcconnell: so, if there's no further business to come before the senate, i ask that is it stand adjourned under the previous order. the presiding officer: the senate stands adjourned until senate stands adjourned until
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>> the senate gaveling out, they'll return tomorrow to vote on the house version of the government funding c.r. which could include funding for the border wall. that's being debated in the house tonight. the live coverage of the senate here on c-span2. now we go back to the putin interview. >> translator: probably the chinese colleagues be given a chance, news wire, and we'll give the floor to you as well.
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>> translator: afternoon, mr. president. i'm from singapore news wire. the question is as follows. china had inaugural meeting, a solemn meeting dead kitted to the 14th -- dedicated to the 14th anniversary of the openness reform, and president xi called for going new to the end with all the measures about openness and democracy. how do you assess the changes of the chinese society? and russia and china have set out a figure of 100 billion of mutual trade, russian exports to china increased by 44%, outpacing chinese imports by $10 billion. are you happy with the adopt of russian/-- the development of russian/chinese ties this year? >> translator: indeed, that is an important milestone. not sure if we'll be able to reach $100 billion, but we are
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very close to that mark. and we'll need to counter volume at the start of next year. but, in general, yes, it is around $100 million, and that is an achievement in itself. of course, we cannot stop at that. but this is a result of the russian/chinese relationships, because we observe that we have greater trust before us, and we sound relationships between ourselves. we have resolved all the issues we have inherited from the ussr times, and now we are moving forward. we are collaborating not only when it comes to economy, but also when it comes to international agenda. and the russian/chinese cooperation on the international arena is a factor which helps to revitalize the international situation, to make it stable and
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predictable. we positively assess the changes that we saw in china and such a country as china with a population of 1,300,000,000, stability's crucial especially when it comes to domestic policy. including the stuff matters. and president xi jinping made the decision, and his party members supported him, and i guess that the decision was the correct one. stability guarantees progressive development for china. [inaudible conversations] >> translator: here we have some journalists from our region. [inaudible] please. >> translator: thank you very much. alexander --
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[inaudible] the cry mean bridge -- crimean bridge is a symbol of the return of crimea to russia, and a bridge over the river might become a symbol of the asian part of the russian territory. and now the question is such, should we expect such bridge to be constructed, and if yes, then when? because we really need it. >> translator: a symbol is always something good because it marks a certain stage in our work and hows us to move forward. that is why the crimean bridge is actually both. it is a symbol of the reunification of russia and -- [inaudible] of russia and crimea, and it develops the peninsula. this is also very important. the same is true for the bridge
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over lena river. you said it should be linked to development, and this is what we actually need to assess, the cost of the bridge. and as we've said for several years now, this is very expensive, and we need to understand when the bridge is going to come straight to the city or maybe we might develop the region in general on the other shore of the lena river. to develop the economy, the infrastructure, find some possible fields, etc., etc. so we need to compare the expenses and the gains, the potential gains for the economy, of the region in general. so if our colleague of the ministry of transport or the ministry of economy would negotiate between themselves, then we'll implement the project. yes, nature, yes, modern people, that's great, let's to that. we'll move on to gas.
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we are not running out of gas. we have greatest oil -- gas reserves in the world. we have 67 trillion of cubic meters of gas. >> translator: mr. president, thank you very much for this opportunity to ask a question. the head editor of the society and ecology, and i've been publishing this for some 19 years in st. petersburg, and next year we will mark 20 years since the establishment of our newspaper. it's a small publication but a sustainable one. yes, we'll celebrate that. i would like to invite you to st. petersburg to take part in the round table dedicated to the strategy of development of russia which is timed to coincide with our 20th anniversary, and my question is while protecting the rivers, the
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forests, i would like to highlight that at the russian media forum on the 23rd of april you have tasked your people to talk to you about this dangerous object that would be constructed. and at the economic forum, we've heard that the task is still going ahead, but the decision was actually made for you, and the local authorities did not want to act on your decision. so, please, pay attention to the don river. it is a very great river just like -- [inaudible] for example. very important, for example, about drug addiction.
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we had this triad of -- [inaudible] for the communism builders, and now we do not know what we are even building. we don't have the model code for the capitalism -- so i have this triad on my placard, and i would ask you to refer to our ntb for them to hold a national discussion as to what kind of russia we are going to build and we are going to see. so nature -- [inaudible] this is what i suggest. and one cannot do without the other. >> translator: so we are watching those tv shows where they talk about who cheat on who, who left who, and this is
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something absolutely unacceptable. but when during those tv shows we would actually discuss these issues, that would be a totally different matter. can we organize a tv show which would discuss the strategically important development questions for us in the long-term perspective? it is not so often that we meet because andre is a very interesting person to talk to. he has thorough knowledge, and he has his own opinion, and he's not shy to express it regardless of whether anyone likes it or not. he is not trying to adjust to anyone. he say as what he thinks. he's a very knowledgeable person. as to whether we have some idea for further development of other country, i said it several times that in the best possible
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meaning patriotism is the basis for a stronger statehood. in the broadest and the most noble sense of the word. now, the fact that a lot of tv channels and on the internet we see some shows which is hardly worthy of the broadcast time that is allocated for it, i talked to danny o'granno at our last are meeting. we've talked for a while, and i have not seen him after that because he died. and he said you need to do something about it. with what, i said. we are all tired of this. of what? every tv channel shows hike who
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stole -- like who stole what, stole how much and how they stole it, so we are tired of that, and don't we have something light, something more light-hearted in our life? but i guess that is the strategy of those tv channels, that's what i said to him. but i guess that recently we see some improvements in this area as well. and information is becoming more well-balanced. finish -- although i rarely watch tv, and i do not often surf the internet, i just don't have the time for that, but i did try to follow the general events, and i guess that the situation is improving. but to discuss the topic that you suggested, well, i guess there's no harm in that. we need to discuss it with our colleagues. even has heard what you said, and i guess that they would respond. just a second, just a second. chicago tribune, please.
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and afghanistani later on. >> president putin, rachel bronson with tribune publishing out of chicago, united states. yesterday president donald trump announced the withdrawal of american troops from syria. what is your -- he also announced that, in his opinion, the united states defeated isis in syria. he made that very clear. what is your position with respect to his statements both on the withdrawal of american troops in syria and also with his statement regarding the defeat of isis by the united states? and secondly, do you have concerns that the american troops will remain in some form? there's been much discussion, for example, around the presence potentially of contractors and other jurisdictions where the united states is either active
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militarily or might want to be active militarily but in a more discreet way. thank you very much. [speaking russian] >> translator: as for defeating isis, i do generally agree with the president of the united states. we've achieved some major advances when it comes to defeating the terrorists, and we have struck major blows on terrorists in syria. this is a danger that those terrorist groups might now infiltrate the neighboring regions -- for example, afghanistan and other countries, and also to other countries, for example, their countries of origin. and this poses a great risk for all of us including russia and the u.s. and europe, for asian countries and the central asian countries. we're aware of that, and we know
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about that. yes, donald trump is right about that. as for the withdrawal of american forces, i'm not sure about what that is. the american forces have been present in afghanistan for, what, some 17 years, and every year they talk about i withdrawing their forces from afghanistan, but they're still present there. that's my second point. and my third point, we do not see any signs of the american withdrawal from syria, but we see that it is possible, and we are now on the track of political settlement, and now we want to form a constitutional committee in syria. and when we had a meeting in istanbul, russia, turkey, france and germany, we made the decision that we will do everything in our power in order
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to create this constitutional committee. and russia, on its part, has done everything so that it would actually happen. it might seem strange, but we have, indeed, negotiated the lust of caughts with president assad. he presented a list of his candidates, 50 people, and he took part in the formation of the list on the civil society, 50 more people. and regardless of the fact that he doesn't like the list altogether, he still agreed to that. and the representatives of their position agreed to this list, and iran agreed to this list. and then we presented the list to the united nations, and it turned out -- and minister lavrov told me yesterday that at the initiative for our partners, germany, france and the united states, now the u.n.
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representative special envoy is actually trying to drag out the time. i'm not sure what is going on there. but i believe that we are at the final stage. i hope that we are at the final stage of this process. if not by the end of this year, then early next year the list would be negotiated, and then we'll move on to the next stage of political settlement. whether do we need the presence of the american military, i guess we do not need that presence. the presence of your troops is ill legitimate. it has not deny illegitimate. it has not been confirmed by the united nations security council. only security council can make this decision, or you can be there on invitation of the syrian government. we are there on invitation of the syrian government. if you've made this decision,
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this is the right decision. but there's one more important element. it's the fact that despite all the disputes and differences between our experts and our military and our security services and foreign ministries, we have a constructive dialogue on resolving the most acute issues of combating terrorism in syria. >> translator: in general, we are satisfied with our joint efforts. agriculture, agricultural newspaper. we didn't, didn't give them the floor yet. microphone, please. [speaking russian] we'll not forget about -- [inaudible] no way. just a second. good afternoon. i represent a newspaper, agricultural life. and we celebrated 100th anniversary this year, and you
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congratulated us, and thank you for that. the question is the following: according to the statistics, the growth of agriculture recently has slowed down in spite of the fact that we are not competing with anybody because of sanctions, and we have had a good environment for our work. how could you explain that? are you, are you preoccupied with that? and among national or federal projects, we don't have agricultural project. why? well, talking about national products and agriculture, agriculture is part of our national project for many, many years, and we are supporting with hundreds and hundreds of billions of ruble our agriculture, and we will keep doing this in relationing to large farms, small farms, in all areas of agricultural facilities. as to the slowing down of our growth in agricultural area,
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yes, it's true we are not preoccupied with that, and it's not a greenhouse environment for you. we still have complication inside our country, this is good. and it's very important for the development of this economic sector, and we'll have external competition as well. not all countries impose sanctions against us. that's why we didn't impose countersanctions in relation to them. -- counter-sanctions in relation to them. we've imposed sanctions in terms of e.u. and u.s. and other countries which imposed sanctions against russia following u.s. initiative. but the majority countries didn't follow this example, and there are a lot of them. they are selling us their agricultural products. that's why we have competition. what is going on inside agricultural sector? well, statistics. statistics is linked to the production of grain. last year we have a record high harvest, 135.5 million of --
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tons of grain. this is the main indicator which actually influences statistics. this year because of unfavorable climate conditions and in certain areas we have imposed emergency situation. because of that, we have 110.5 million of tons this year. and comparing to the last year, our indicators of this year went down. what this 110 million is the third -- >> we're leaving this program for a live briefing on efforts to pass a short-term government funding bill before the deadline tomorrow night at midnight. holding the briefing, senate minority leader chuck schumer, house minority leader nancy

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