Skip to main content

tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  December 19, 2014 4:00pm-6:01pm EST

4:00 pm
1.2 trillion rubles. the --sure that year outcome of the year in the social news sphere is, of course, a positive demographic dynamic. natural growth of population for are 37.110 months thousand people. the death rate is decreasing now and the birth rate is increasing which is a very good trend. we must do everything in order to keep it. as we promised, we are continuing to impact the capital . ,408 rubles.was 429
4:01 pm
we have achieved and even barometers, target employees we were speaking about social teachers, teachers at school, medium and junior medical staff. doctors, etc.. indexed themave twice. of february, by 6.5 percent and since april by 1.7%. we have paid a lot of attention this year to increasing the combat capacity of our armed forces. i would not name all the things here. inbe the social barometer 2014.
4:02 pm
military servicemen of the minister of defense have received permanent housing. receivedrvicemen have their corporate housing. that is 100% of our annual plans. these have been some figures. now words about the currency situation. i believe all of us understand the main question of today, -- thes of interest state of economies, national currency. and i will try to describe the situation to you. in for my opinion,
4:03 pm
on how to develop it. after that, i believe the press conference will be finished. of course, this situation has been provoked by external factors. but we believe that a lot has not been done by us. for the economy for the last two decades. it was quite difficult to do everything. especially taking into account the economic situation when the money was invested by business to the areas with the maximum and quick profits. it was quite difficult. for an economic factors are influencing it. all, the oil price
4:04 pm
which is followed by the gas price as well. i believe the central bank and the government are taking adequate measures in the current situation. questions there are to the central bank about the timeframe of these measures. it whether they are timely. that the yesterdays and the foreignase in currency and raising growth of the cost of ruble will maintain. is that possible? yes. oil prices will continue to fall and influence the national currency. that is possible. what are we going to do about this? we are going to use the measures which we used quite successfully
4:05 pm
in 2008. and in this situation, we will have to focus our attention on assistance to people who do need it. i would like to highlight that alleed to keep or maintain our planned parameters on social issues and problems. first of all, i'm speaking about the pensions. the salaries of the budget employees. it will develop in an unfavorable manner and we will have to make some adjustments to our plans. to of course, we will have reduce some things. and i would like to highlight that, as experts say, jumping to plus and further growth.
4:06 pm
and a favorable solution to this situation is unavoidable. for two reasons. first, the growth of the global economy will maintain. the rate of growth is slowing down but the economy will grow. and our economy will overcome the current situation. how much time is needed for that? years in the worst scenario. i repeat that after that, the growth is imminent. economic situation will change. the growth of the global economy will need additional resources. , for the time, which i have no doubt, we will be able to do a lot for the economy. because the life itself will be making us do that. we won't be able to sanction and survive otherwise.
4:07 pm
this is imminent. we will fulfill our social obligations based on the existing reserves that we have, thank god. and they grew this year. a reminder that the central bank billion and $419 the central bank is not going to waste them. which is correct. the government, the national welfare fund, it has grown this trillionbout 2.4 rubles or 2.5 trillion rubles. the total amount of the reserve is 8.4 trillion rubles. willieve with this, we solve the main social issues, diversify our economy, and it is unavoidable the situation will become normal.
4:08 pm
with this, i would like to finish the introduction. press finish the conference as well, but if you have questions, i will answer them. this year, i would like to begin with those that have been working for the whole year with the president. i would like to begin with the kremlin pool. thell give the floor to kremlin pool who has been working with the president for many years. they have been going with him to all the corners of our planet. believe, [indiscernible] i would like to ask you, mr. president, there is a deep foreign currency crisis now. think, for the two years you have mentioned, will
4:09 pm
we go through a financial and economic crisis? there has been a lot of for black monday and tuesday. for the ruble, i mean. do you agree with the criticism? the situation, it would last for about two years. i believe it is not a necessary scenario because the situation might improve. it might begin improving in the first quarter in the middle of .he next year no one can tell that for sure. factors and uncertainty exists there. i do not think i could call the situation a crisis. or you may call it whatever you want.
4:10 pm
that i said, quite clearly, the central bank of the government are acting correctly and adequately to the situation existing. i believe that some things -- well, the criticism is from the experts as well. i believe some actions could have been made quicker. i believe that the quickness must be the pragmatic approach. it which the central bank and the government is doing. what are they doing? they have risen the key interest .ate i believe this rate would not be ofsed for all the periods those difficult circumstances linked with the foreign economic situation. economy will
4:11 pm
adjust. why am i optimistic? because the economy will adjust in the and work conditions of the lower fuel prices. low oil prices. this will happen. the question is how quickly this judgment will take place. it may be lower than $60 a barrel.$40 a the figure doesn't matter here. the economy will structure itself. how quickly it will do so, it is difficult to say. us these facts. rate.sed the interest what does it have to do and what toit doing? in order stabilize the national currency, we might squeeze out the ruble liquidity a little bit. to thet give access
4:12 pm
participants of the currency, the foreign currency liquidity. the rate on the currency is 0.5. the bank must feel themselves how exactly to act. away our forex reserves and not waste them in the market. we must keep low resources to people. so-called two is the repo which happens that day. -- month, a week, one day this is returnable money that gives it to the participants of economic activity to use. it is done correctly but maybe must be done a bit more quickly. i see and hear the criticism
4:13 pm
towards the central bank and the president of the central bank. the criticism might be grounded or not but the government must not forget about its responsibility either. it has good currency benefits. the chairman of the government that the leaders of our largest the leaders oft our largest companies. there are results from these meetings. , many of them need to pay their loans. think about the situation in their companies. a company just as a citizen always thinks about how to save something for the worst times. it is the correct economic behavior or not. it is not.gic shows that there are still positive results for that.
4:14 pm
we need to take some other measures. the government. what am i talking about? i am talking about fighting inflation. there are some things that we mentioned, by the way, publicly. example, thefor fuel prices -- i mean the gasoline prices. the food prices. this has to be tackled with by the government. thatust work with manually. it you must monitor it every day, every week. meet the producers, the market participants, the trade networks, the retailers, the oil companies which have monopolized our market. our federal anti-monopoly service should work as a. and all those actions should be joined as a collective and should not intrude with the
4:15 pm
incompetence of the central bank and the government. it should be varied and it should be timely. whole, we mustn't forget that their policy is adequate. mr. putin, a lot of us have been waiting for your press conference. people were thinking, what was ?he mood of mr. putin thank you for your optimism. we hope everything will be as he said. now to my question. we have been speaking about
4:16 pm
going away from the oil needle, rebuilding and restructuring our economy. it shows that we are still on that loyal needle. we do not know how long it will remain here. we can use the current crisis for good in order to restructure our economy. i understand it wouldn't be done quickly, but still. and in address to your federal mentioned au have benefits for the business end for economy. you understand that the main danger in russia is bureaucracy
4:17 pm
and the stalling of the implementation of correct decision. that yourre now thoughts and decisions that you expressed in your speech will be implemented this time? and this optimism will be confirmed with real steps? thank you. when we havesure insurance. but in this case, we can ensure ourselves by implement in the right amount of economic policy. this, i suppose, is good insurance. it could make us more confident. that is what i can tell you. about the redm
4:18 pm
tape and bureaucracy, realize that in our country, it's nothing compared to the european union. you know what the main problem is? beginning, i said the press conference could be over. it's not a joke. the main problem is not stalling the decisions. participants, the chemistry. and regulating the non-commodity sector. it is still a difficult process because we do not have enough forces to implement those reforms. for many years, we have been trying to improve the business climate.
4:19 pm
and to facilitate the situation. it can be much more profit. 80% of requests of the government are not related to investment. applying for a chance to produce energy resources. you know that when economic conditions get different, they invest into other areas. this is a bit optimistic. yes, we will have to face some difficulties and we will definitely have to address some social issues. and to force the social obligations. signed by the president in 2012.
4:20 pm
we canll, i suppose benefit from the situation. today's economic situation will help us. [indiscernible] questionsmake your shorter so that you can listen to mr. putin more? mr. putin, at the beginning of 2012, in the run of the pre-election that transformed decrease,resident's you characterize the situation that russia is focusing. happeningu think is in the country at the moment?
4:21 pm
think they will concentrate or just relax, finally? nothing has changed in this regard. the current conditions are actually pushing to further continue the reforms. it's the same issue. what we have to do is to work. what we need for the future of our economy is to create favorable conditions. we also have currency and property rights. we have to stop using law enforcement agencies to punish everyone.
4:22 pm
we have to stop using those tools. we also have to work on the industrial sector and provide for the regions of the federation. we have been doing that for quite a time already. tax holidays for four years. in relation to those enterprises, that we are not criticized for any severe violations for multiple years. but we have to do is go on concentrating and to work to take practical action. >[indiscernible]
4:23 pm
celebrating the 25th anniversary of the fall of the berlin wall that you and i witnessed in the country in germany. due to your weinsistence -- are witnessing building a new wall. it is not a concrete wall but a wall of mutual criticism. forecast?ur where can this take us? we can do anything in order to restore the corporation. and we haveall fell
4:24 pm
witnessed a new wall. >> you yourself are an expert. us? did they tell for majortwo ways expression. isn't that a wall? it is a virtual wall. and what about a system near our borders? no one talks. this is the problem. they decided -- [indiscernible] what we have to do is exercise more pressure.
4:25 pm
they did not stop building the wall. we going to work together. and i hope the top position like the ukraine crisis, understanding the best ways to stop building those walls. economic liberty and economic freedom. i would like to give the floor to our colleague from the ukraine. >> i would like to ask to short questions, please. is about thestion operation you organized in the
4:26 pm
east of our country. intendedation was against the russian speaking population. russian militants are fighting their. sendany of them did you there? manyhat about -- how people died? did you say to the families of those that died? he is hiding in the territory of the russian federation. prisontime, he put in the conscription of party. and the number one at the moment
4:27 pm
, at least 30 more ukrainian war prisoners. >> let me start with your second question and i will definitely answer your first one as well. speaking of when and in what , our opposition is -- [indiscernible] the journalists who died. let me emphasize that the journalists who died here did not take part in a military action. they were unarmed. the responsibility of
4:28 pm
every state structure, including the military structure, to provide for their health and security and to give them a chance to fulfill their professional duty in order to .isseminate the information it is what is accepted everywhere in the world. however, those people were murdered. agency, saifour tangoe called them as targets. that she is not part inthat she took the murder, she will serve the sentence of the court. at the same time, in advance, no
4:29 pm
one can claim that a person is guilty of committing any crime. including that the presumption of innocence is enforced in our country. so we will see what the investigation will discover. troops andother other military men you have mentioned, we don't believe they are war prisoners. they are serving their time in .rison they are suspected of terrorist activities. this is to answer to the second part of your question and let's go back to the first question. speaking about who is responsible for what. , the presidential the president is
4:30 pm
held accountable for everything. destiny, the commander is responsible for that. our country is one of the same person. will, they want to partll their duty and take in the military actions including in the east of the ukraine. they are not paid for those military extras. and taking place in the east of ukraine, it is definitely cooperation but organized by the ukrainian authorities. and not by anybody else. they sent the military units,
4:31 pm
but in the challenge system to the south of the ukraine. , no matteroup d'etat what you say about it, it was definitely what happened in kyiv. -- in kiev. instead of starting a political dialogue, the new authorities started using the enforcement agencies first. when it didn't work out, they sent the army. when it didn't work out either, they started to apply other methods. economic -- the cut of economic ties. it is unacceptable.
4:32 pm
approach as mediators and intermediaries. and the united political space. let us continue. channel one, please. >> mr. pruden, what is going on in our economy. maybe they will have to pay for crimea. no, it is not the price we have to pay for crimea. this is how we have to pay for troops to preserve our nation and maintain our state. when i was answering the question of your colleague, i mentioned that after the berlin wall fell and the soviet union
4:33 pm
dissolved, i mentioned in my address to the federal assembly that we were totally open. but what we saw was that they directly supported terrorists. i'm not going to go into detail in such aent, but way, they are very aware of their actions. do, theytter what we are always against our action. they are always contradicting us. if you recall the process for we wanted toames, make a holiday not only for sports in our country but what messageas a coordinated for the olympic games and the olympic games themselves.
4:34 pm
that is what you are witnessing all the time. you know, speaking in front of the club, i quoted an example. i mentioned the bear in the forest. withhing is, if we go on such analysis, sometimes this comes to my mind. and sit quietly instead of hunting animals. maybe we will leave the bear in peace but we will not. what they try to do is chain the bear and when they managed to , this is howr
4:35 pm
nuclear deterrence is working at the moment. we can even hear that from officials saying that it's not has thet siberia pressure. but it's unjust. but if we can manage your own territories, then it is unjust to them. it is ridiculous. take the friends close. it is a stuffed animal. they maintained the sovereignty and independence. you believe the problems we are facing in the economy at the , we will see that 25% at
4:36 pm
the moment are new to sanctions. realize is have to that if we want to maintain our sovereignty to fight and improve , in order to restructure our economy. to go through all the difficulties and to improve. do we want to achieve that? choice.our the russian channel is responsible for our broadcast day so let's give the floor to those. it is quite understandable but the question is how much money will we have to put into its
4:37 pm
development? i like to ask you one of the most sensitive questions. what is going on in the eastern which is nowkraine called nova russia. how do you view the future of this part of the ukraine? do you believe arrangements are going to succeed? just like you are doing right .ow i think i partially answered with the question your ukrainian colleague asked. will beve the crisis resolved with political means, not just with pressure.
4:38 pm
and anyway we are going to help , the convoy has been dispatched. one of those principles is that the people have to determine the future themselves. when i talked about the , these are not just empty words. we have restore the political space. and to live in the eastern part of the ukraine, they have to be respected. economic times have to be restored. on the half of the
4:39 pm
ukrainian energy system -- behalf of the ukrainian energy system. [indiscernible] and the rest of ukraine. all banks have been shut down. there is no way to settle a pavement just the day before yesterday. they tell us they are ready to pay. that they would pay for it in advance. the peaceful settlement of this crisis as far as the arrangements are concerned.
4:40 pm
together with petro poroshenko, without a doubt, the president of the ukraine wants to achieve resolution of this crisis. it leads to a continental crisis , we hear many statements. but he wants a peaceful settlement. arrangements have to be put in place. i was one of those that initiated those arrangements. i would say something to you. our representatives signed a memorandum back in september.
4:41 pm
memorandum, it was protocols. protocols were established. when we tried to insist and be frank, we were open about that. these things have to be known to the audience. us that theyd to would not leave those contested villages because their families, their wives, their brothers and sisters. they did not want them to get raped or killed. that was the greatest challenge. troopsy withdrew their from the points they have to leave.
4:42 pm
i am aware of the recent developments. armedlitia took those forces. they provided them with food. the even let them maintain their rotation mechanism. i believe the hostages, the prisoner of war should be exchanged. a ukrainian authority is said to --e been detained [indiscernible] i believe that these lists have to be adjusted so that people can find themselves at home
4:43 pm
before christmas. before the new year. yesterday, there was an agreement to have an exchange of 30 people. militiatatives from the came to the agreed-upon spot but the representative of the said thatuthorities they decided to delay the exchange. i think this could have been resolved. but those are details. anyway, i think that there should be positive dynamics in implementing the minsk arrangements. today or tomorrow, a video conference should take place between the militia and the authorities. the next step is going to be taken. what is support and --
4:44 pm
important is for the fighters to keep their promises as well. they agreed to an amnesty law and it has not been adopted yet. they are always telling us that they have adopted special stages , but this law could not have then brought in the practice because it just could not enter into force. it could enter into force only by an act on the disengagement line. but it has not passed. we have to understand one thing. if ukraine is to preserve its , they have integrity .o respect everyone who lives i do believe this is the path they are going to. about it.
4:45 pm
[indiscernible] this year, we understand energy diplomacy has been turned into one of the key factors of geopolitics. is russia?ed the difficulties. there are many that still think the china contract is not profitable and the turkey contract is going to make russia dependent. >> i'm going to make some judgments. i have nothing to object to because it's just, you know, not justified. just have a look at what has been written in our country or in the west.
4:46 pm
there are many talks about the towards us. is it tied to geopolitics or not? the asia-pacific region is developing quickly. even more quickly than the rest of the world. new opportunities arise for japan, south korea, china, india. their demand for energy is growing. in otherer than regions of the world. what do we have to do? duly we refuse to provide them with energy resources? no. what we are doing is what we planned a long time ago. this is just putting into practice what we planned for in advance as far as our contract with china is concerned. this is not not profitable. both sides provide other preferences.
4:47 pm
it was the court's decision. byy were provided both china. i'm not going to elaborate on that right now. nothing strange about that. the russian government and china government both decided to .rovide preferences it is indubitably a profitable one. regarding the coefficient, the coefficient is somewhat different. this contract is going to allow russia to concentrate great create a and not just gas pipeline.
4:48 pm
and allow us to lengthen the gas pipelines, to redistribute gas flows from one part of the country to the other. had it been not for this, we would not have been able to get down to providing gas to siberia . this is a great construction site. the economy is growing as well. it needs new energy resources.
4:49 pm
the counterparts are asking markets for the domestic of turkey. why would we refuse them? -- we have ahe .airly good understanding we know what they need and that is why we are going to do that. whether european help can be created on the borders of turkey and greece, this is not up to us. it is up to our european partners. reliableant to have a and safeguarded source of supplies, of energy resources from russia which they are in dire need of, that is wonderful. they are going to work together and cooperate.
4:50 pm
to linger to macedonia, serbia. get back to benghazi and austria. if we don't want that, let it be so. is, there are no supplies of gas that would be cheaper than those from russia. mr. president, let me get back to the situation for the currency market. the developments are quite rapid. it's a source of concern for millions of russians. experts and you said that one of the reasons for such a situation is that the people that speculate on the currency market , who are those people? can you name them? are they russian? why can't we overcome them? are they that strong or are we that week?
4:51 pm
-- weak? is the central bank or the government planning such actions as the fixation of the russian ruble rates? a measure is devised. those they get money from simply -- as far as i know, the central bank or the government were not planning to .lace limits upon our exporters and that is the right thing to do. it doesn't mean that the government cannot work.
4:52 pm
companiest energy have shares that are possessed by the government. plansere are no decreased to introduce artificial limitations as far as speculators are concerned. and a notion from the penal code. can be all kinds of funds that are quite active. those can be our companies. outset, i have said that this is quite consistent with the practice of any market economy such that people or companies or organizations emerge. and any market economy, they work in the markets, creating a
4:53 pm
conducive environment. they put institutions such as the central bank to get into markets and sell the currency and gold reserves to perform the so-called interventions. the central bank has ceased to make those interventions. they probably should have done it earlier so they would not have had to change the repo rate . or form the large-scale interventions. i have just told you but these people are -- several days ago, i talked to some of those. i had a telephone conversation. a friendly one. i asked them why they are doing it. they tell us that they would soon have to pay their credit. all right.
4:54 pm
,ut if you search your stocks what will you do? thought and said that he has 3 million in stocks. it was just one company. so they had 3 billion in reserves. companies.e three probably not three, but 300 billion will be found. we certainly do not have to do that. to force this company to do that. without that, [indiscernible] together with the central bank, they should provide the company not just with currency but also with ruble liquidity. >> good afternoon, mr. president.
4:55 pm
regents,of russian primarily in moscow, the number for patients and hospitals is decreasing and the number of medical staff is decreasing as well. what is your attitude towards that? and this experiment that will be for the rest of the country? >> people are concerned that due to this reform, they will not that ismedical help guaranteed to them by the constitution. you have touched upon one of the of our contemporary life. it is one of the fundamentals of our life. issues that should always be in the spotlight of the government and the regional authorities. moscowt of the
4:56 pm
authorities, certainly. we are very active towards what is happening. all the changes planned and are already underway should be done in conduct with a ofresentative, in this case, the medics. government hasow been lacking in this part of the world, they should be adjusted. they should focus on dealing with education and health care. we should focus on people that benefit from that. millions of people expect us to a million rate the situation. meliorate the situation. we are not exactly happy with
4:57 pm
it. we should analyze why that is the case and what do we have to do to make this situation better. detailsgoing to go into with the actions of the moscow government. note that weke spent a lot on health care. but not very efficient. provide not to make the patient feel better, but to increase their health. we should work on high-tech components of the medical system. or days, a, four person may stay in hospital in intensive care and then he or the otheres treatment
4:58 pm
way. thatver, moscow believes there have been there to percent beds that-- 30% more are needed. it is important because we have to pay for land. we have to pay for electricity. we have expenses that are not very efficient. and we eat quite that to the quality -- equate that to medical systems. about my own opinion. not the actions of the moscow gunman. but the recent actions i believe were in the right direction. the steps we are taking in the right direction.
4:59 pm
we have established contact with medical workers. they made a decision on additional compensation for the whose postsialists would be reduced. that would be about 500,000 rubles. the medical personnel at medium level, 300 thousand and lower-level, 200,000. moreover, there have been problems with retraining of specialists of three months of up to two years. and, of course, the sitting who,nment has to decide where, and how it will work further. with no cannot be done contact of medical workers. careful.ns should be
5:00 pm
they should not forget that the main principle is not only the medical workers, but all of those that work in health care and to not do harm. let us continue. good afternoon. -- in a message to --e federal assembly you said t you did not call names, but with enteredds, answered -- the political lexicon. your supporters have been naming those who do not agree with the authorities. who did you mean, speaking of national traitors and the fifth --what is thedoes
5:01 pm
definition of that society? >> i don't think i am responsible in that regard. and all my actions reamed -- were aimed at [indiscernible] not dividing it. if you believe that is the case, i believe that was the case. you ar emore -- more perceptive and that regard. maybe i should be more careful in my public statements, but one cannot be too careful in naming things we sometimes have to name matters for what they are. difficult to answer that question because it is a fine line. it is difficult to define where the opposition and's and the fifth column starts. this year was the year of culture. celebrated the
5:02 pm
anniversary of one of our genius poet's. verses.emember his all remember his palm -- moscow."t us die near and he also wrote [indiscernible] a position and a lot of you know that when he wrote to the death of a poet that was referred to, the killing of alexander pushkin and one of his relatives went to visit him and saw that a poem, he asked him to be a little less harsh in his writings. surprised and
5:03 pm
indignant. he made harsher wordings. not inse he was opposition but i believe he was a patriot. it is a very fine line because he was an officer in the army. a very brave and valiant officer. he went into combat for the interest of the country. film, way, in the recent the offices that were just like accomplished their mission in leading to the revolution. they are revolutionaries. thats the revolutionaries acted to their detriment.
5:04 pm
that was the beginning. between thece members of opposition and the difficultmn is, it is to proceed from the outside. the position may be very rigid. the member has to fight for the of his or her the fifth column only acts on the interests of another state. they are just in achieving this political aims that are alien to us. $50t the moment it is about billion. and the pentagon budget is 10
5:05 pm
times higher. think the congress adopted the budget of $575 billion and you're trying to say that we have an aggressive policy. doesn't sound logical or reasonable to you is that us who move our military forces to the borders of other countries, and we move our military structures [indiscernible] all anyone listen to us at anyonene engaged -- is engaged in dialogue with s? no. what we hear is my german business. every country has a right to insured security. why are we not allowed to do that then? we are supposed to have that right, too. assemblyst of the thinking about the [indiscernible]
5:06 pm
treaty. that was one of the [indiscernible] that was part of the security system in the continent. the u.s. did so and they [indiscernible] systems deploying their not only moscow but next to our borders and we are trying to [indiscernible] whether we want to maintain relations based on equal rights, yes. we want to be a -- built ,elations based on interest equal rights. this has been maintaining manyiations on the wg 04 years now, for 19 years. the agreements were reached and
5:07 pm
they were supposed to be solid. i am not speaking about who is guilty and who is not. our worst involvements are wrong in we joined the wto violation of all those rules and the u.n. charter. there has been sanctions introduced against russia. and an absolutely illegitimate and illegal way. the leasing we want is to develop relations based on equal rights and economy. .e would like to work together we want to work together to combat terrorism.
5:08 pm
if our partners want to cooperate with us. >> hello. i am here to present [indiscernible] 1 that is coming into force. is going to -- armenia and kurdistan will join the union. comment on your vision of the common markets? >> you know it is a country that uses oil. and it is not unrelated to integration.
5:09 pm
kazakhstan isat facing the favorable economic situation at the moment. speaking about whether we are able to overcome those difficulties we will be. there is growing demand for energy resources and our economists will adapt even to low prices. proposaling about the this is as follows. we can create a single economic space.
5:10 pm
there is a very impressive indicator. of course they will benefit from [indiscernible] >> my question is definitely related to the agricultural sector. let me give you an example. you heard in our area. workers recently resigned.
5:11 pm
the farmer was trying to find a worker to replace him but no one wanted to work for the farm. no one is going to do the work on the land, on the soil, they are not willing to work on the soil. believe -- this is important to our food security. >> i share your concerns in relation to agriculture. it is very hard to work in the current conditions but we cannot but share the optimism. that cleaning out the domestic market opens new opportunities.
5:12 pm
for the farmers, for the russian market. we have to think about addressing the issues and we have to think about vocational training. opportunities. we have to benefit from what we have got. a very good -- with very good vocational education in agricultural areas, it will be beneficial for this area of the russian economy. as well, just yesterday we discussed the decision to support the agriculture. i hope that our agriculture workers will appreciate it and benefit from it. what is very important to do now is to make sure that they sell their grain, we have to make sure that they reach, that they are not all received by intermediaries. we have to provide educational training. speaking about the prices of industrial goods -- it is not a good thing for consumers but it is a good chance for producers and i hope they will benefit from it. >> i was already thinking you didn't want to answer. mr. president, what are the prospects of the russian -georgia relationship? does russia believe that we are going to raise those relationships to a new level? do they require more active actions?
5:13 pm
what is important to do now is to make sure that the farms, [indiscernible] we have to make sure that the farms reach their users, that they are not received the intermediaries. answer he about prices for industrial goods they realize they are growing. good chance -- and they will and if it from it. >> i was already thinking you did not want to answer. one of the prospects of the russian and georgian relations? does russia believe it is a done
5:14 pm
case, that maybe we are going to raise those relationships to a new level? do they require more active actions? will the georgian relations with the european union discussed -- and what would be the role of russia in settling the conflict? for russia's part, the territory of georgia was occupied, in the conflict remains unsettled. georgia, of the georgian people, it is a bleeding wound. but 1919, everyone remembers that year. i should talk to him and him highest to talk with the kill sick is really -- mikael sa
5:15 pm
kashvilii. our initiative. it was not our doing. -- baird tim not to start hostilities. of course that he started that. and there you have it. it will be difficult right now. i understand the pain of georgia and the georgian people is a leading want. everyone remembers that year. the grave situation after the dissolution of the russian empire. they're going to stay with russia and there was the same
5:16 pm
operation. that is not forgotten. that is not made up. everyone accuses us of all the seven sins but that was not our work. there going to help settle matters. hostilities started and we acknowledged the independence of those republics. recognized those independents. we havery difficult but to establish direct contact. there -- we should not reject from step one of possibilities. we should start the process. where it leaves us i cannot possibly say. as for the meeting, in georgia, we have very little contacts.
5:17 pm
there is internal power struggles there, ongoing internal power struggles. for legalizing the shipment of georgian goods to russia, we did that. but not to stop russia from entering the heavy tao. that was a very welcome gesture from the georgian authorities and we answer that with opening our market system. we are ready to follow in that direction. leaders, we will be the president and georgian premier in moscow. we mentioned chechnya.
5:18 pm
>> good afternoon. the press secretary of the chechen republic. dialogue's to reprogram and you were there, i am very grateful for that. and not veryctions friendly relations of different countries towards russia but we see that there have been people who joined that that we always considered friendly. in that regard i would like to hear your opinion on the czech republice and bulgaria, even those people could form a friendly not maybe state but alliance in prospect so that they could help us in international affairs just like
5:19 pm
it is done with english-speaking countries and another question. and they have not been very straight with the fact. never let constitutions be violated in the territory of the republic. i was silent when you blatantly you were not stopped from asking the question. i have the following question. when innocent people, people that work on the roads, teachers, journalists, when their lives are put in danger when comrades die, went roads are inspected, his children were left as orphans and he had a
5:20 pm
pregnant wife, and he knows exactly when certain families were in contact with the militants. not militants, terrorists. there are no more militants in chechnya. they were asked to get back those people, but they called those people in the woods -- they were asked about their comfort and that is according to helping terrorists. those people should be held responsible. do we believe, in regard of terrorists, if we should use the means that we have so as not to endanger the lives of hundreds and thousands.
5:21 pm
if we had not taken measures we would have a half a million victims. >> i understand the grief of people, of the families of people who died. i am sure that he will never leave those people alone. as for helping terrorists, of course all of the accomplices should be brought to justice but of course within the law. what really was the case, that will be clear during the investigation. the fact that we have combated terrorism in all dimensions including helping the terrorists within the law. the slavic countries, they are
5:22 pm
in a difficult economic situation. they are under pressure. you see that pressure is of course due to the economic situation and with sanctions and we are being under pressure but those minor countries are of course more susceptible. and the serenity is going through hard times. but i know within the people, the will is not political but cultural and spiritual unity it will prevail. it cannot be eradicated. >> mr. president, a year ago, you, in this hall, announced
5:23 pm
that iran is our neighbor. it is one of our priority partners. i am quoting you. thank you for your trust. and we are going to develop relationships with those countries. and this is our choice, you said. a year has passed. turnover has decreased. thato special contact could lead to an agreement emerged. iran is not in the eurasian community, iran does not participate in projects, the large oil contract has not been implemented.
5:24 pm
which you signed at the beginning of this year. and i am building on the fact that the existing turnover this year is less than half a percent of the turnover with other countries that russia has, so there is a paradox. no one in russia is responsible for this state of relations. none of the officials is held responsible for lower turnover with iran. maybe you should think about maybe ordering somebody to be a representative of the government responsible for the turnover with iran and the development of economic relationships with it. a lot depends on the actions of the ambassador. maybe you should analyze the duties. of ambassadors in other
5:25 pm
perspectives. an ambassador does not contribute to economic traded by 5%, then you might criticize them. if it is next year, you might change an ambassador. i believe that the direction of iran and russia would give a lot. -- the interaction of iran and ussia would give a lot. last year you said he would visit iran. that has not happened at the in agreement and that has not happened either and i do not understand it. have there been any changes to the strategy or have just your orders not been implemented? thank you. >> first, as far as ambassadors are concerned, of course constant improvement of relationships is their duties but that is not directly within his duties.
5:26 pm
if we act according to your recommendations, we will not have ambassadors to be ambassadors. as to whether diplomatic missions work in a country, that is determined by the minister of foreign affairs. in the end, your humble servant according to the reports of the minister, of course after your , question, we will analyze the efficiency of our embassy in iran. on the whole, we are satisfied with their work. as far as the turnover, it has flown do -- slowed down. fallen down a little bit and we discussed that with the present of -- president of iran. we are taking steps to improve it and improve the structure of and the volumes of it. it is not just dependendant on
5:27 pm
us, it depends on the global economy. this is the objective process, because iran is an oil and gas producing and extracting country and their economy is largely linked to the world's oil sector. now we are witnessing the falling down of prices, oil prices. there are many discussions on that project, why is that happening, is there a conspiracy to punish iran and the economy of russia and venezuela, etc. it might be or might be not. maybe it is just the struggle of the traditional producers of raw materials with the shale oil, for example. maybe you just hold the price
5:28 pm
and squeeze the shale oil out of the market and then increase the price. we cannot tell for sure what the problem is. the interests of the u.s. oil producers coincide, of course, because the u.s. administration is very calm about the investments done to private companies of oil shale. if it will remain low mud then the companies would stop in hardly extractable deposits the growingdrop of economy it would lift up so much it would be bad for developed countries. most people understand that at our chinese friends understand that too. they are not interested in oil
5:29 pm
prices going too low. we are looking for opportunities to diversify our operation with iran and will continue to do so. we are doing that sincerely. we have had success and some failures. we are cultivating and machinery construction, etc., besides the oil and gas sector, but the contract you mentioned, we wanted to implement it. you are incorrect when you say no one is responsible, the minister for energy has had multiple visits to iran and invited partners here. it was a difficult process to look for a compromise and solution and a solution has been found. the calculation is very difficult there. there is a whole range of problems but on the whole we have solved it. it needs will from both sides. the contracts need to be beneficial for everyone because
5:30 pm
not the government will be selling the iran oil. the companies will do that. we have to make the contracts beneficial for them. we are interested in it even do -- even though it is difficult and will continue to do that in order to find the ways to expand our turnover. of course we will work together with our irani partners to solve the nuclear issue. i believe we are close to finding the solution to this problem because the leaders of iran are demonstrating great flexibility, i believe. i do not understand why the final or the last resolution on the nuclear program of iran has been signed. i hope it will happen in the near future. if it is so, we will see a change in economics. my visit to tehran is quite
5:31 pm
possible and we are now agreeing on that by diplomatic channels to find the time that will be acceptable for me and our partners. the visit is not quite important because when i visit tehran, i will meet the president but i just met him. multiply. we will continue to meet each other and continue our contact. if we need a separate visit, we have no limitations about that. there is no external pressure on that. we promised them we would build a nuclear plant and we have done that. we have signed a new contract on continuation of our john -- to work and we have done it. so the question is technical and -- joint work and we have done it. so the question is technical and
5:32 pm
we will work on that. >> friday, president obama will hold an end of the year press conference. he touched on the decision of canceling "theny interview." >> sony is a corporation. damage,red significant there were threats against its employees, i am sympathetic to faced,cerns that they having said all that, i think they made a mistake. in this interconnected digital world, there are going to be opportunities for hackers to engage in cyber assaults in the private sector and public sector . our first order of business is making sure we do everything to hard insights and prevent those
5:33 pm
kinds of attacks from taking place. when i came into office i stood up a cyber security interagency team to look at everything that we could do at the government level, to prevent these kinds of attacks. we have been coordinating with the private sector but a lot more needs to be done. we are not close to her we need to be. one of the things in the new year that i hope congress is prepared to work with us on is strong cyber security laws that allow for information sharing across private sectors, platforms as well as the public sector so that we are incorporating best practices and preventing these attacks from happening in the first place. , theven as we get better hackers are going to get better, too. some of them will be state actors and some of them non-state actors create all of them will be sophisticated and
5:34 pm
many can do some damage. society inave a which some dictator someplace can start imposing censorship here in the united states. is able tosomebody intimidate folks out of movie,ng a satirical imagine what they start doing when they see a documentary that they do not like. or news reports they do not like. or even worse imagine if and distribution and others start engaging in self-censorship because they do not want to offend the somebody whosef
5:35 pm
sensibilities probably need to be offended. that's not who we are. that's not what america is about. that's not who we are. that's not what america is about. again, i am sympathetic that sony has worries about liability . i wish they had spoken to me first. do not gettold them intimidated. >> we will be taking her phone calls. you can let us know what you think about the presidents comments at 7:45 p.m. eastern. we are getting reaction with dozens of people weighing in. harry says --
5:36 pm
xavier feels differently. to share your opinions and we will be taking your questions and commentary tomorrow on "washington journal." than michael calhoun for the center of responsible lending discusses the payday registry -- industry. we will be taking your phone calls, facebook comments, and tweets all on "washington journal" on 7 a.m. eastern. right here on c-span. some of the programs you will find on the c-span networks. etc. been dispensed -- discussing politics and humor with liz winsted.
5:37 pm
padlich on what she perceives as the hypocrisy of liberals with the war on women rhetoric. topthe argument that the anniversaries are missing the mark on education and students should learn lessons on how to think critically, be creative, and have a goal in life beyond the material. morning,ney -- sunday interviewing several -- several of the city's authors and tour its sites. and saturday at 6 p.m. eastern on the civil war. historian damion shields talks about the life of irish american soldier patrick cleburne and his role in the confederate arty -- army. and in 1974 investigative piece
5:38 pm
tv on the history of hospitality and neighboring oakland. find our complete schedule at least one -- at tweet at or #cspancomments. like us on facebook. follow us on twitter. >> vice president joe biden attended the wedding ceremony of the national hanukkah menorah on the south lawn of the height -- white house. this part lasted 20 minutes. >> the word relates in the public view two ceremonies in celebrate -- and celebrations i could this one but the word also has its roots in hebrew and the
5:39 pm
word education. we dedicate, educate, we live, we celebrate. as part of these celebrations, instituted the national menorah essay contest where we have asked children from across the country, explain what hanukkah means to them. the authore to call of the winning entry for us today. >> what hanukkah means to me. it is a great way to remind us of great merit. .
5:40 pm
it means dedication. i think the word dedication beautifully describes the jews. judaism.dicated to je one of those amazing miracles. hashem'sappreciate amazing greatness. one of my favorite things to do is to spin the dreidel. k about children my age thousands of years ago who were also spinning the dreidel. imagine -- hanukkah is a holiday but it is really fun and with a special meaning for me and all jews.
5:41 pm
>> we are now going to hear from our first winter. -- winner. presents. night is growing up recause you add anothe candle. goodould try to do more deeds every day. it is important to me. my favorite way to add a light personelp an older sick
5:42 pm
light the light. >> [applause] those were wonderful essays. when we hear children speak in this way we know we have a future as our people. [applause] as you know, the menorah is lit towards nighttime and the reason for that is that the essence of hanukkah, it's core could -- tradition is the spread -- to spread the message of the miracle. we cannot do that if nobody
5:43 pm
knows about it. so even though all year we spread the message of the , this is the time of when we bring our message to the public. there has not been a time when jews in the diaspora have been afforded the freedom that we have today. let's hear it for the freedom in the united states. for all those who are watching theour homes or through live broadcast, know that you can light a candle, too. even if you're not celebrating. go warm up somebody's life, go to do another good deed area go make the world brighter than it would be. in that way you are submitting to. obviously in the jewish committee we light menorahs but , good and warmth
5:44 pm
into the world is a universal opportunity and message. we are going to be lighting the menorah at this point in the program. dark. close enough to the the sun is getting ready to set and we want to start spreading this message all across america as quickly as we possibly can. so what we're going to do at this point is we are going to do the menorah lighting in a moment. we are going to hear from the vice president. i'm going to ask that everyone please remain seated until the end of the program even though we will be rising for the lighting of the menorah itself. will ask cantors, i that everyone returned to your seats and remain seated until the end of the program. this time i would like to ask the conductor of the band of the to presentes army the torch with which we are going to light the menorah to the vice president.
5:45 pm
and i am going to like this on behalf of the vice president. wear outdoors, -- we are outdoors, but i will light it as soon as we possibly can. we will light the national menorah with this torch and will for these two lights lit all the world to see. light the first one is we are at the beginning of the process. tonight we light one and then to in then we have all eight by the end of konica. the middle one is a bit above the other eight because it servant,s the public the utility, the one who goes above and beyond their own needs so that others will benefit from what they are going to do. i am honored to take this torch
5:46 pm
form the vice president and go off and light the menorah while he will join my father who founded this effort in philadelphia in 1974 and to have here who have won the essay contest. we will watch this and there is now that iicance think about it of you passing me this torch. because vice president biden was involved before the community and the public were involved on such a large scale. we have been doing this now for 45 years. 35 years of the white house with president carter starting this in 1979 together with a great friend of ours who is here tonight. let's hear a round of applause. domestic policy advisor at the time and every year comes in sees the greater
5:47 pm
attention that this event deserves and receives. vice president biden was then a senator and there was a rabbi who needed help in obtaining permission to put up a large public menorah. and since he was across the border from philadelphia and delaware he afforded to help necessary to make it happen. so in a sense, this is your celebration, mr. vice president. so passing the torch is more symbolic and more ways than one. we will get this done and the coming back to the stage. following the vice president remarks i will ask that you remain seated. thank you.
5:48 pm
5:49 pm
5:50 pm
5:51 pm
5:52 pm
5:53 pm
>> mr. vice president, mission accomplished. i wanted to go back a few years and introduce a person who i on an amtrak i was here helping my father themwork and i remember holding up a finger to the conductor saying, one more minute. -- set down and
5:54 pm
my father says watch this man. he is talking to a people who are working on the train. they are like his family. as a child andat now i am here introducing that senator as the vice president and we did learn from him. he went home to his family as often as he could and he cared about every individual. i remember them now. introducing the honorable joseph biden. >> thank you very much.
5:55 pm
happen friends for long time. and i only have one regret as you mentioned. it was a great honor for me to do this but i will miss the lighting of the menorah on my daughter's dining room table and it with her husband will be down here in washington. special thanks for hosting this event. also, we were taught that every living thing must grow and just as hanukkah lights will grow from the first day to the eighth, just as even those who have achieved good and
5:56 pm
holy things must never be satisfied with what they have achieved yesterday, may you all go from strength to strength. the israeli ambassador i am told is here. a great friend. --m not sure, [indiscernible] it is my genuine honor to be here with you. about miracles. the miracle of crit -- courageous warriors overcoming , and the identity and freedom of the people. miracle of a rededicated temple flame burning for eight nights when there was only enough oil for one. the miracle that sustain faith and the community through times of tragedy.
5:57 pm
1000 years later, judaism in its memoryell -- many vibrant communities and denominations. live on.e of israel the miracle of lights flickering in the eyes of grandchildren and grandparents, mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, gathered together to feast, to remember, and to saying and the ongoing miracle of coming together in a nation that respects the freedom to live and worship in peace, the same freedom that the maccabees fought for so very long ago. stand on the front lawn of a nation founded on the micahples of the book of and the versus george washington quoted to the hebrew congregation in newport 223
5:58 pm
years ago. he wrote, "may the children of the stock of abraham who dwell in this land continue to enjoy the goodwill of the other inhabitants while everyone shall sit in safety under his own fine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid." notions of jewish religious freedom, of safety in your own land, of being treated with dignity and respect in your own community. not only led to the creation of the modern state of israel as the homeland for the jewish people, but it also formed the bedrock of the united states of america. since our very founding. these values were captured in poetords of a young jewish named emma lazarus when she
5:59 pm
wrote, give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free. words captured forever in the statue of liberty are things that are great -- in grade in your dna and become ingrained in the dna of america. not only did millions of jews easternrom programs and millions of faiths and cultures from all over the world saw them as well and continued to see them. the truth is, the truth is that jewish heritage -- jewish culture, jewish value are an essential, such an essential that it's we are
6:00 pm
fair to say that jewish .eritage is american heritage that's who we are as a people. and to me, that's part of the miracle. the miracle we all celebrate together, as you celebrate with your families tonight. o on behalf of my children and my wife and the president of the united states, let me just say, happy hanukah to everyone. thank you for having me. applause] >> earlier today at the white house president obama held his year-end news conference with reporter and talked about a number of issues including keystone pipeline and why he feels it would have little impact on u.s. gas prices. >> i don't think i've minimized the benefits. i think