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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  April 17, 2015 5:00am-7:01am EDT

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adm. locklear: i wouldn't discount that as a possibility. sen. ayotte: in addition to that , you have also noted that north korea continues to procure for its nuclear and ballistics missiles program, from the region and a network of individuals in the region. as you know, that violates un security council resolution 1718 in terms of the ability of member states to directly or indirectly supply to north korea these kinds of materials. obviously, there are many you resolutions that apply to iran as well. as i look at that testimony, what more can we do to isolate north korea in terms of those that are supplying the country things that we don't want them to have and are against u.n. resolutions? and who do we need to be tougher on in the region in that regard?
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adm. locklear:gen. scaparrotti: primarily in terms of proliferation security, we have a proliferation security initiative that is global in nature and multinational. that is an important key because we have to bring in and deal with other nations to provide intelligence and forces that may help us in interdiction, etc. and continue our training in that regard, which we do. and terms of the nations that i think we have to be concerned about, i prefer to answer that actually for the record in a classified document instead of here the open form if i could. sen. ayotte: i appreciate that. i also wanted to follow up, admiral lockley are -- admiral lockley are, tooear, in light of china's
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military buildup, what is your assessment of the current balance of military capabilities in the taiwan strait between the pla and taiwan? and where does taiwan have an advantage and where is the pla advantage? what concerns are you hearing from the taiwanese? and what platforms, weapons, assistance and training has taiwan requested from the united states that we haven't yet provided? adm. locklear: we have a robust interaction from pay come headquarters with taiwan. in fact, we have ongoing right now with their man u -- their annual exercise where we purchase a pit with them. we send advisors and we sent general thurman, who used to be scaparrotti's predecessor
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advising him. in general, over time, the capabilities of the pla, the prc will vastly eclipse what the taiwanese could produce on their own. it's just a matter of magnitude of size. if the prc stays on the corset is on now. my task is to support the taiwan relations act and to provide my advice up to the ost end up to the president for him to decide what kind of things we provide. i know they have requested our assistance in simmering programs. we are contemplating that at this point in time. but have not committed them one way or the other. they are particularly interested in us helping them in cyber security areas that allow them to pursue asymmetric capabilities that will improve their defense and improve their
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competence that they can make decisions on their own and not become worst. sen. ayotte: thank you. senator graham: would you describe china's behavior towards is -- towards its neighbors as provocative? adm. locklear: let's call it aggressive. i guess provocative would be in the eyes of the beholder. senator graham: from the as of the japanese, would you say it is provocative? adm. locklear: they would say yes. senator graham: would you say the regime on a goodie is unstable? gen. scaparrotti: no, sir. i would say they use control. we see no indicators of instability at this time.
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so you think we don't have to worry of much about north korea? when i say and stable, i mean unpredictable, provocative danger -- gen. scaparrotti: you willing to be provocative as well. sen. graham: so in your backyard, you've got dangers provocative, unstable with nukes in north korea, right? gen. scaparrotti: yes, sir, within short distance in the capital. sen. graham: the leader of north korea seems to be, like, nuts. i don't know how else you describe the guy, but he seems nutty to me. so under sequestration at the end of the day, how are your ability to defend south korea and our interest from an army
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point of view? gen. scaparrotti: from a holistic point of view, sequestration would end up with a smaller force, a less ready for us -- sen. graham: if the army goes down to 420,000, let's say the number we one day hit if we don't fix sequestration, how do your theater operations fair in terms of threats? gen. scaparrotti: in high-intensity conflict, i would be very concerned about adding a force that had enough depth particularly for a sustained operation. sen. graham: so it would be seen as we getting our position in asia, right? gen. scaparrotti: yes, sir. sen. graham: admiral come under sequestration, the navy would have how many ships? adm. locklear: i would have to refer that back to the navy. i don't have the exact numbers. sen. graham: how many do you have? adm. locklear: i have about 150
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ships in my or are -- in my or from san diego to the theater. what would be impacted by the size of the navy is the ability to rotate forces forward to augment the ones that are at dateline all the time. the problems we are having now with sustaining our numbers even with the seismic have today , sequestration would drive that further into the ground. sen. graham: it would be hard to pivot to asia under sequestration. adm. locklear: yes sir. sen. graham: all right, so the likelihood of an armed conflict between south korea and north korea, how would you evaluate that on a one to 10 scale, one being very unlikely, 10 being highly likely, say, in the next 10 years? general? gen. scaparrotti: i caveat by
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saying that i think he knows that a conventional attack on south korea would be the end. i don't think that is his purpose. i think it is to maintain his regime. but over a 10-year period, it's above a five. it's a six probably. sen. graham: and the more real -- the more we reduce our forces a less turned, it may go up to seven? gen. scaparrotti: with less deterrence, it becomes more likely that we have a conflict. sen. graham: admiral, from your point of view, if we reduce our forces in your theater of operations to sequestration levels, do you think that encourages china to be more provocative? adm. locklear: i think any signal that we send that we are less interested in the asia-pacific on the security side than we currently are would be an invitation for change in
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the region and that china would be interested in pursuing. sen. graham: there are allies in the region. are the beginning to hedge their bets? what is there a view toward our footprint and where we are headed? adm. locklear: i don't think they are honest -- they are necessarily unsatisfied with our military footprint. i think what they are concerned about most is the growing divide between what they see as the economic center of gravity which is predominantly asia and more more around china and the security center of gravity which is around us. that creates a conundrum for them as they have to deal with strategic decision-making. they want us as a security grantor. they see us as a benevolent power and they like how we operate. but they also see us as a diminished economic power in the region and they have to deal with that. sen. graham: admiral and
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general, i would appreciate it if, for the record, you would give a written estimate to this committee as to the effects of sequestration on your ability to carry out your responsibilities. and please make it as detailed as you wish. we are going to have this fight again on sequestration ongoing and members of this committee are dedicated to the proposition that we have to repeal sequestration. and your testimony as to the effects of sequestration can affect the argument probably more effectively than anything that members on this side of the dais could accomplish. so i would very much appreciate it if you could give us it's much detail as possible,
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short-term and long-term effects of sequestration on your ability to carry at your response duties. admiral, is this your last appearance before this committee? adm. locklear: yes, sir, it is. sen. mccain: i want to take the opportunity on behalf of all of us and this committee and the united states senate, thanking you for your outstanding service. i think you can be very proud of the many contributions you have made to this nation's security. you are one of the reasons why leaders in uniform are so highly respected and regarded by the people of this nation. so i think you admiral. this hearing is adjourned.
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recognized for five minutes in support of his motion. mr. nolan: madam speaker, this is the final amendment to the bill which would not kill the bill or send it back to committee. if adopted, the bill will immediately proceed to final passage as amended.
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madam speaker, you know, years ago when i first went into public life, my father, as fathers could be expected, gave me a little fatherly advice. he said, son i'll always be proud of you if you just do a couple of things. what is it, dad? number one, be honest. i don't want my kids getting in trouble. tell the truth. secondly he said, if you're going to go in public life, commit yourself to working for the common good. don't worry too much about the rich. they got a way of taking care of themselves. well, my father never had any money to speak of but, boy he sure understood that. if you look at this chart here, this is what this bill is really all about. this bill is about giving $270 billion in tax benefits to the richest of the rich. that's right. this is america. and here's that -- less than 1% of the 1%.
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$270 billion tax break. 5,500 individuals over the next 10 years. that means the rest of the country is going to have to pay for it. have these people benefited from the greatness of america where people are work hard and prosper and become successful? yes of course they have. they're the richest of the rich. and here we want to give them another tax break. talk about greed. talk about carrying the water for the richest of the rich. what are we talking about here? and you know what, it gets even more egregious and that's what my amendment is about here today. under my amendment this little percent, this little 1% of the 1%, if they have engaged and been found guilty of tax fraud as it relates to inheritance and gift taxes, they're going
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to benefit from this. they amass fortunes to illegal activities as it relates just to this very specific tax. and we want to give them a tax break on the for turns that they amassed illegally? the least we can do, and that's what my amendment does, my amendment says if you've been found guilty of tax fraud try and get more than you already have illegally and criminally, then you're not going to get the benefit of this tax exemption. i am confident that if my good friends and good colleagues here on the floor of the house on both the republican and the democratic side look at this thing honestly, they will say i've got to support that amendment. i can't go back home and tell my folks how people who were found criminally guilty of trying to cheat the taxpayers
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of this country out of taxes that were due should be entitled to benefit from that. we can't do that. and i want to remind everybody, you know, here we're looking at this country at a time when the disparity and inequal of income in this country is the worst of any developed nation in the world. people like pope francis are concerned about it. leading economists like al greenspan are talking about it. my god, when hillary clinton and ted cruz announced their candidacy for the presidency because they're concerned about the growing disparity and inequality in income, we got a problem in this country. and mind you, this gift tax, we're here talking about farmers and business men and -- i'm a small business guy. i spent 32 years of my life in business ok. and let's tell the truth. let's tell the truth. 99% of the people in this country are not required to pay
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any estate or gift tax because they -- the value of their farm, their business their accumulation in life does not exceed the limits that are allowable under the law which by the way are like $5.5 million per individual. you know $10 million $11 million for a family. that's a pretty nice gift at the end of the day for something that quite frankly you were not the hardworking, creative, innovative person that created that money. you were just the beneficiary by wealth the old-fashioned way, you inherited it. do we all aspire to wealth and success? yeah. that's something we want to applaud, something we want to celebrate. this is about celebrating, you know, the gift of inheritance and there's plenty of it here in this legislation. you know, at the end of the day this bill is really about the 99% because they're the ones that will have to make up the
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$270 billion a gift we already gave to the richest of the rich. that's not how you fix this problem of growing disparity that is threatening our economy threatening our well-being. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. nolan: i urge the adoption of my amendment. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. brady: madam speaker, first, i withdraw the reservation of point of order. the speaker pro tempore: the reservation for point of order is withdrawn. mr. brady: and i seek recognition. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman seeks recognition -- i mean the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. brady: thank you, madam speaker. all this is a red herring. the desperation you hear is for a government in washington that desperately wants to keep spending your money on $800 toilets and on research products that make no sense and feel free to waste your money because they're not the ones who worked a lifetime to earn it. today we heard congresswoman
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kristi noem talk about the tragedy of her dad and three days after his death they were notified by uncle sam that they owed or they would have to sell that ranch. we heard from a gentleman from texas whose dad built up from one car and four stalls a family-owned car dealership, 400 workers, profitable company nearly went bankrupt because they had to pay uncle sam or sell the business. they worked 20 years to pay off that loan. my constituents -- a woman who is a widower, who was forced back to the bank for the third time paying death tax for grandfather, father and now she and her husband just to keep the family farm they worked generations on. these are the people who are punished by this tax. it is not the government's money and work. it is yours. this is all about that issue and at the end of the day
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unless we want to keep attacking the american dream and insisting that uncle sam swoop in and take your nest egg, it is time to restore the american dream, to end the death tax once and for all. i urge our colleagues to defeat this motion to recommit. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. without objection, the previous question is ordered on the motion to recommit. the question is on the motion. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair -- mr. nolan: madam speaker, i ask for the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it. the yeas and nays are requested. those favoring a vote by the yeas and nays will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to the order of the house of today, further proceedings on this question will be postponed.
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thursday, before a live studio audience, russian president vladimir putin answered questions on domestic and foreign policy on his annual call-in program. more than 2 million questions were submitted via call, text, and e-mail. the entire event lasted more than four hours. during this 90 minute portion, putin addressed relations with ukraine and the west, as well as the recent nuclear iran agreement. from moscow, this is courtesy of u.s. english news channel russia today. >> we are watching the russian president right now, getting ready for his q&a address. over 2 million question already
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posed to the russian president. he said records in the past by going on for more than four hours before. as the russian president it's ready for his annual q&a address live, i will step aside and let the russian president man the helm from here. >> hello mr. president, our call center has been working for a week, and of course we will keep taking your calls and questions. right now, our operators are prepared for a peak load of questions. you can call 8-800 in the text from abroad. use the number you see on the screen right now. during the last seven days, we have set a record. as of now, we have received more questions than last year by the time the show was over. we have 2,486,000 calls and text messages. this year, we had an interesting novelty. you can send your mms, photo question to the president,
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demonstrating the problem in so many words. we also take video questions. you can upload them through the moscow ru website. again, we have sign language translation available. we will keep taking your questions until the end of the show. send your questions in, maybe the president will answer your question. here in the studio we have people of different questions, from different segments of russian society, teachers, agricultural workers, rescue workers, military officers. they all have their questions. should we start? good morning. mr. putin, this year you had to face a lot of challenges. this was a time for you to make executive decisions. you are the only person capable of doing that.
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you had to take counter sanctions, you had the situation with crimea, difficult economic situations, outside pressure, and you had to personally get involved to these matters. what is the outcome of this year? can you give us a list of successes and failures? president putin: that is a traditional question. i knew it would be coming, and i have to give you the results of the year. i jotted down some of the figures for myself. just to give you some fresh data, happy to share them with you and the whole country. you mentioned some of the results, we now have the reunification with crimea. we also worked on the difficult conditions--
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it was last year when we had the sochi olympic games. it was a very successful sports event. that was what happened last year. also, we faced restrictive measures by our foreign partners and it had an impact on our pace of growth. but as you see, the ruble has been strengthening. stock exchange is growing, inflation has stayed within certain limits. if you take last year, it grew by 0.6%. slight growth, but still, the economy is growing. manufacturing has been up for us. 1.7%. processing is 2.4%. oil production has been at a record high. it is 525 million pounds. russia saw one of the biggest target in its industry. 1.5 million tons. agriculture has been growing. 3.7% growth.
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this year, first quarter has demonstrated a good results. we also have good figures across other categories. chemicals, 4.1%. fertilizers, 4.2%. sure, we do have problems, and direct investment were down 2.5%.
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but we still have good results in housing construction. i would like to highlight the record amount of construction. again, russia has never seen such figures. even the soviet union is wasn't able to match the figures. 81, or even 82 million square meters. these are stunning figures. also, unemployment was up. it was 5.3% in 2014, now it is 5.8%. but still, we kept the growth of unemployment at a certain limit.
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inflation in the consumer sector was 11.4%. it is not good. of course it has a living standard on our people. inflation was down three fold. as you know, we have indexed pensions. we adjusted them to inflation. but still, there is a lot of economic uncertainty. there has been a lot of capital outflow, we have to bear that in mind. for further questions on the issue, i will be happy to take them and reply in more detail. despite fluctuations in the stock market, demonstrating good growth. retail loans were up.
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and assets of the russian banking system grew by 17 trillion rubles. for the first time they have a bypassed the gdp of the country. that is a good sign that the russian banking system has been very stable. it is great that both legal entities and now the individuals take their currency that they have purchased. the number of deposit has grown 9.4%. we see that the amount of deposits is still growing. this year it is 19.5 trillion rubles.
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legal entities now have 26 trillion rubles in the deposits in russian banks. now, moving on to the budget. we have a 0.5% deficit. but nevertheless, it is still not very much. so i think we will stay within 3.7%. one of the positive results of 2014 was a positive demographic trend. the birth rate was up, and mortality was down. life expectancy has been growing across russian regions. this is a very good sign. it means we have the upward
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trend and the sentiment of the people. that is the overview of 2014. host: mr. president, most of the figures have been macroeconomic indicators. if we talk about the common person's experience, judging by the questions we have received and are still receiving on the hotline, it does not look as rosy. let us talk about economics first. let us start with economic issues. i would like to start with the question that came after a recent article in a certain periodical. a person who was present at a meeting with a business number said that sanctions would not be lifted anytime soon. first of all, did you actually say that, and if yes, what do you think of the situation?
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president putin: you did not listen carefully to what i said. you have missed some things i said. i have said there were positive things. i talked about macroeconomic factors, it is a critical importance for our growth. but i also said that income has shrunk. that was due to inflation, 11.4%. i mentioned that. that's the sanctions. indeed, we had our meeting with interpreters. i said it was highly unlikely that sanctions would be lifted anytime soon. it is a political issue. the warrant to restrain our growth, i don't think it has any relation to the conflict in
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ukraine. we are doing everything we can to implement the mengsk agreements, but our partners have not caught up. the most important thing for us is to use more sophisticated ways of management. of course, a lot depends on us domestically. we just mentioned inflation, we mentioned real wages. what is the reason for the decline? of course, there is a lot of pressure on the ruble. it has depreciated. it depends on oil prices.
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it is well-known that unfortunately we have this economy that is too dependent on oil. it is difficult to change the situation. over the past years, we saw real wages growing at a higher pace than productivity gains. this is something very important. regardless of any sanctions, and adjustment was imminent. the central bank in the government -- and the government took those sanctions as a helping hand, so to speak. they could have said, ok, these are the measures we need for adjustment, and we have to be
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careful of the sanctions. that adjustment took place. it is important, and the markets have responded to that. which means our economy is getting healthier. it means we have the basic conditions for growth. of course, sanctions have an impact. we will talk further about that in questions. but it is not the most important thing. host: still, is it possible that the situation in russia will be similar to that in iran with decades of sanctions? president putin: russia is not i run. -- us not iran. it is much more diverse than the iranian economy. we do not have the same policy in terms of energy that iran is conducting. we have a approach that is much more market-based. it is not a good comparison.
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in terms of how long we should wait for the sanctions to be lifted, i would like to rephrase the question. we have to take advantage of the situation to reach new levels of development. we are now forced to implement measures. we will achieve development faster then we projected earlier. look at agriculture, especially after joining wto. we have made this sector healthier. sure, the groceries are more expensive. we have to wait for
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sometime. you just have to be patient. the agriculture sector will surely happen. in meats, i know agriculture users are not very happy about the situation. the government still provides support. and of course, we make sure that we help agriculture and food safety. host: what about the food embargo? we implement it them because of sanctions. >> russia is a strong nation and we can tolerate a lot of things, but many foreigners say that they do not leave sanctions as we are currently developing our own production, and it would be a real disaster. can you talk about this later. people talk about your big press conference six months ago.
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you said it will take two years to rebuild the economy. would you adjust your forecast? president putin: the ruble is strengthening, the stock market is growing. i think it will take about two years, maybe faster. the output will be down given all the factors, internal and external. even at the beginning of the year, we projected that the outputs will be significantly down. this has not happened. according to the latest data if we take march data year to year, the output is 99% of all we had last march. the production has been stable.
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of course,it depends on the interest rates. there has been flat growth, but we still need to do everything to kickstart the economy.
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>> i still want to ask about some nellingtive aspects. there is a set of measures taken by the government but frankly speaking at this point we don't see how it's supposed to work. and it seems like the primary strategy is to wait for oil prices to rebound when oil prices start to go up we'll have more money and this will take care of more problems. >> this is an overly critical assessment. certainly you must always criticize the government and the president and to the governors of russians regions. when you have criticisms it makes you look at things with a fresh look. so you need some outsider opinion.
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nevertheless the plan o to stabilize the economic situation is something that takes a lot of professionalism. we cannot waste our money. certainly the government needed some time to understand what should be done and what kind of resources could be used. the plan that i mentioned was adopted last december and it's now rolled out. perhaps it could have been faster, true. nevertheless the steps provided by this plan are well thought out and they reflect the state of our economy. i mean that it's a large-scale
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of blueprint we have 3.2 trillion rubles. 900 billion will be channeled to support the banking system. that's the base of our economy. these are the right steps. we just need to look back at the 2009 crisis. we still have 250 billion rubles. of course first the banks then the banks will help them. then we'll send 100 billion rubles to support aviation.
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aircraft construction. also to support employment. 200 billion as guarantees to loans, for certain projects. and the central bank has a number of steps that are being implemented. it's critical to kick start the economic growth. we're also, adjusting pensions to inflation, and also we have a number of steps taken in taxation. i'm sure we're going to talk about that during the session. we have a plan that's coming in the vats will be made zero for commuter traffic and will be cut 10% for passenger traffic
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in aviation so a whole range of issues that are being implemented. so it is not fair to say there are no results. surely the prices are up although not we saw a decline in prices not all regions. but the average prices are down. the ruble has strengthened so we can't see that -- you can't say that nothing is being done. that's not fair. maybe the expectations were higher but that's why i'm just urging everyone to be patient. we just have to find the right way forward. the government has taken the right way forward. >> but the ruble is strengthning for a different reason now. what kind of reason? >> because oil prices grew a little bit and they're stable now. and then there's a matter of speculation because people convert their money into rubles
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because interest rates for rubles grew. but why did you see say that tint rest rates grow? yes all prices are up slightly. >> well, they see this link with oil prices. but still the ruble has strengthened so much that there must be other factors. i mentioned the most important one, experts see that we've survived the peak of the problems. also, russian banks and russian corporations have paid off their external debt. we're also adjusted the russian ruble. the central bank doesn't control the exchange rates.
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you know unemployment is still 5.8. it's not that much as in europe. in europe it's 11%. >> mr. president we have a large number of people representing sme's present here and they have a lot of questions. let's now take a question from a businessman. >> mr. putin. hello to russia. i have the right for first question. so the support measures in sme's are respective so we launched our firm two years ago, so this year we have now the best young business projects this year. but we have our problems with our human capital. when young people graduate from university, thai don't know what kind of tall president
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they have so they don't know -- talent they have so they don't know how they can help russia. so maybe the government can help us to -- can help young people to understand what kind of profession they want to work. and we are ready to share our expertise. >> what do you manufacture? >> now it's confessionry. and we also teach and train children. >> see, this is the best way of the right way to do things. actually. personal training is one of our priorities for the near future. because production processes are getting increasingly complex and we need skilled workforce for that. we work a lot in this area with the industry associations representing sme's representing bigger companies. and we have agreed to take a
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number of measures together. competencies in different areas working together to organize internships and so on and so forth. we can't proceed without that, obviously. the government has a special program for that but you are also right. it's better to start this at an earlier stage when they're still in school. like yesterday i had a discussion with my colleagues in cities like moscow. almost 40% of young people want to go to university. it's good that they are so hungry for knowledge. but this also indicates that we don't have this kind of vocational training in schools. so we'll keep working on that together with you. >> let's take another question from our audience.
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former finance minister person of high reputation and been recognized as the best finance minister of the world. >> hello, mr. putin. my question will be on the economy. so your first presidential term saw a 7% growth annually. and oil prices were around 130. but if you take this presidential term, even if oil prices are 65, our g.d.p. will be around 1.5%. so it's lower than the world average. and the share of the russian economy and the global economy will shrink.
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so we will not have enough investment and modernization into high-tech sectors. so we will be lagging further and further behind in high tech. that might have an impact on the defense industry. of course, the defense industry heavily depeppeds on the state of the economy. and the state of technology as a whole. so the figures that i just mentioned will have these figures until 2018. so it means we will be lagging behind from the world average within the next 3 years. you said that the government is making some adjument justments but i think adjustments are not enough. the old development model now has matured and is insufficient. but we don't have a new development model.
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so what is needed for -- to develop a new development model? >> well, we worked together for a large number of years, and we're good friends you may say. i know your position very well and your forecast is quite accurate and very close to what is likely to happen in reality. first of all you were one of the authors of the development program for our country for the period until 2020. this is very well known, 2020 program. and basically we haven't changed it radically. so if we could not foresee certain things in this program together with you, part of the blame is yours. but of course we have to consider the current situation of what is happening with the
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economy today and we know what we need to do. we have to build -- create better conditions for businesses. we need to create better conditions for private investment. we need to improve our monetary policy. we need to significantly improve the system in the country as a whole. i mean, in the government and in various sectors we need to imu prove our law enforcement and judicial systems. it's a multi-dimensional task. of course it's easier said than done but we definitely have to do it. so even though it may look scary, somebody has to do all this. and definitely there are certain things which are well
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known to everybody. but like they say it requires political will. as you know, in spite of our difficult conditions we still take certain efforts in the direction recommended by you and other people who share your views. for example, this area the government froze some of the social benefits and did not index them. i know that your colleagues will share your views. say this is insufficient. we should actually allure social benefits -- lower social benefits, cut back salaries, incomes. they say we should raise the
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retirement age as soon as possible. otherwise, we will not be able to balance the pension system where we have to take money out of the budget -- a lot of money. and this stands in the way of our development. essentially theoretically all those things sound right. but to have a healthy economic policy you definitely need the brains. but if we want people to trust us, you also have to have the heart. you have to be able to feel how people live, how an ordinary person live. if we have people's trust, people will support everything we do. and sometimes they will be able to suffer like arielle said. but if we disregard how people feel and what happens in real life i'm afraid that very soon
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we'll end up in a situation we had in the early 90's, where the government will lose the trust of the people and we will have to plug up our economic hole spending much more money than we can do now when we move forward modestly but still making progress. for example, when we montize benefits we took a step and then we had to speand lot of our resources to take care of this problem. so to avoid this kind of situation we will take the approach described. as the government recommends and the will this cause the country to lag behind others, let's wait and see, because the public debt of the u.s. is actually higher
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than the country's gdp. this is alarming, not just for the u.s., but for the economy in general. what will happen for the situation there. we do not know. see how many problems they have got in the euro zone, the situation is very bad. what will happen to countries which have their public debt at 174% of their gdp? what will happen to those countries? will the leaders of the euro zone be able to tackle the situation? we do not know that. so we will certainly be guided by the considerations of higher growth rates, but we will do this in a way that will not put too much burden on our people. you all know, i don't know if you all know this, he is a
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member of the expert counsel working with the president of the russian federation and you know that we always respect your opinion, including me. and i mean it. we always listen to your recommendations. >> a small follow-up question, one of the reforms is a reform of the social sector. but you know, we don't propose to stop the growth of real wages, no, we just want to start to make target payments, maybe some categories might need a higher salary. while some of the categories do not need their salaries to be adjusted that high. so we believe this targeted
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approach is more efficient especially in a crisis situation that we are facing today. also, our proposals are meant to tackle inflation. currently, april on april, 17%. so we could have avoided this jump if other measures were taken, then real wages would not fall too much. so as i said earlier, we cannot have real wages growing higher than productivity gains. now we have seen the adjustment. of course the presidential council has been working not too hard, i think we need to step up our activities. and also the 2020 strategy was drafted, but not adopted.
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it is still on paper. and only 25% of its potential has been employed, has been leveraged. so i think we need a clear-cut program with frontiers that we can reach regardless of the sanctions. president putin: the 2020 program is a guideline for our development, we still use it. and i completely agree with you on the point of selective approaching, offering social benefits. i have told the government to work on that. and you mentioned salaries growing ahead of productivity. and i have presented my position to you. i agree with you to a certain extent, but in reality this is easier said than done. when you talk -- it is easy to
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talk about such things, even on hotline, because salaries, incomes, especially for school teachers, this is too low. you cannot expect to achieve real results. of course, this can create difficulties that you mentioned. on the whole, we should do our best for salaries to grow and come up the productivity level. you are right about that. today the iranian counterparts demonstrate flexibility and decided to reach a compromise on the iranian issue. all stakeholders now stakeholders confirm that the deal has been reached and there are technicalities that just need to be finalized. that is why we have taken this
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decision. i did not see the statement by the chancellor of germany. maybe our counterparts are not aware of the fact that the u.n. sanctions did not include military equipment like the s 300. it was a voluntary decision on our part. it was a goodwill decision. we now see that there are positive trends. so there are no grounds to continue with this unilateral ban. as for the sanctions lift provided by the resolution of
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the security council, we will work with our partners. our contribution has been significant to the resolution of the iranian nuclear deal. also our enterprises have produced this equipment, it is very expensive. the cost is $900 million and no one has compensated these losses. they indicated some time ago that they might buy from us, but nobody has bought it. so, it is not part of the u.n. ban list. the situation is changing. maybe it is better to encourage our iranian counterparts.
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so they continue to move along this path of rapprochement. you also mentioned the reports from israel. when we supply military equipment to a certain region, we take into account things, especially in the middle east. we are not the biggest supplier of equipment and weapons to the middle east. the u.s. supplies far more equipment to these parts of the world. and just recently israel voiced their concerns about the supplies going to another region. they said it could lead it to political shame in the region. because, some of my colleagues said no plane would be able to lift them in the air. we have consultations and one of
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the partners understood our concerns and we canceled the contract altogether. and we even paid back the advanced payment, the installment for 400 million u.s. dollars. in iran, totally different issue. it is not a threat for israel, again the s 300 is an offensive equipment. a defense equipment, i am sorry. it is only used for defense. and even if you talk about situations unfolding in yemen, it can only be a deterrent. when we help, we help the people of ukraine first and foremost. that is number number two, we one. want to see the ukrainian economy come out of the crisis they are our neighbors, our partners and we are interested
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in having a stable situation at the borders and developing economic relations with our neighbors. the reason we offer them a lower price and gas, is it because we know that their economy will not be able to pay the market price, but we are willing to do that. the same goes for electricity, coal, and so on. at the end of the year, before the last one, at the end of 2013 we made an agreement with ukrainian leadership that we would offer ukraine a loan. we bought their securities. $15 billion a year. we were going to give them $15 billion a year, like a loan. and $5 billion more for road construction through commercial banks.
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and what did ukraine get further -- from their partners to date? $17.5 billion for four years. we offered them a reduced gas price, as long as they pay regularly and they settle their debts. we reduced the price of natural gas and now it is 300% higher. we would keep our cooperation ties intact now they are , severed. of course our situation is not so good, but their situation is really bad. they have lost high-tech competencies in missile construction, shipbuilding, and so on. i think the consequences are negative severe and it is not clear why they had to do all of that. still, this is the situation we are in. we will do our best to rebuild
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our relations with ukraine. this is in our interest. >> some follow-up questions from guests in the studio. mr. -- >> mr. president josehph brodsky the famous poet, he once said , that -- i heard a poem on ukraine independence and he wrote about the nationalists in ukraine. but apart from nationalists, there are millions of simple and ordinary ukrainians living there. they are now under threat. there are many examples, we have -- so people, the locals, the
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security agency asks people to frame other people. one of the former mps was killed, gunned down. you've also got lots of threats from nationalists. and all of the laws taken by the ukrainian parliament ahead of may 9, victory day. so i think they are trying to impose the apartheid policy against russian speaking populations. ukraine says that russia is an enemy. they are asking for discounts or natural gas. if you look realistically, how and under what conditions can we normalize the relationship?
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president putin: this is not a simple question. even though we could talk about russians and ukrainians being one nation. i often do that. actually, it is quite simple. today, russia does not accept -- expect anything from the kiev authorities except one thing -- treat us as equal partners in every way. of course, it is important for us that they respect the legitimate rights of ethnic russians living in ukraine and people who consider themselves russians regardless of what it says in their passport. people who consider the russian language their mother tongue and who think they belong to the russian culture.
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any country is interested in people like that. including russia. there is nothing extraordinary about that. i repeat, we are interested in normalizing our relations with ukraine entirely and we will do all we can from our side. of course, the situation is a big problem with the donbass. we expect the ukrainian authorities will abide by all the minsk agreements. first and foremost, they have to set up a working group as part of the minsk process. they have to start working on several areas -- political reform, constitutional reform the economy, border issues, and so on. they have to start doing those things.
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not talk about these things but start doing them practically. at this point, unfortunately, we only see attempts to continue to exert pressure and no real desire to solve the conflict through political means. it is my understanding there is no other solution except for a political one. i hope that everybody will come to the same realization. >> another question from our studio. irina is well-known in russia. she has a question on ukraine. >> mr. president my question number one, is about the tragic death of boris nemtsov. it shook me as a person.
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you might understand me, we have cooperated with him. it is really a painful event. what is your take on the investigation. will we know who ordered that contract killing? it looks more like a terrorist act. what about political competition -- will your political opponents like navalny, khordrokovsky and others be ready? will they be conditions for them to take hard in parliamentary elections? maybe that will stabilize the situation and stimulate the private sector and draw in a private investment.
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during the funeral, journalists came up to me. there are also online reports that boris nemtsov got information on the presence of russian troops southeast of ukraine and also during the funeral, western journalists asked me about it. can you clarify -- can you give us more details? were there russian troops are not? -- ornot. president putin: let's start with the opposition which had the right and the possibility to participate officially and legally in politics. number one, they can and they should. number two, if they make it into parliament, if they have
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people's support, their activity will have an official status and they will certainly be responsible to a degree for the things they offer. but you are an experienced person. you have been in the government. it is wanting to be in the opposition and to criticize everything. there is no responsibility, not too much responsibility involved. still this brings you to the , forefront, brings you out of the shadows. that is something positive, i think. in the long run, the bottom line is it is up to the people to decide who should be in the parliament. i think this would be a positive development. on your question regarding the assassination of boris nemtsov you were his friend. he was in the opposition. he criticized me and the government even though i used to have a pretty close relationship
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with him in the past. like i said in the past, it is a tragic and shapemeful event. this assassination. about the investigation, i can tell you that one day or 36 hours after this happened, fsb and the police investigators knew the names of perpetrators and the only question they had was how to arrest them. let's give credit to our law enforcement agencies. this was objective data. it is not just security footage. they have many different technical capabilities available. i don't want to say too much because i do not want to divulge the advanced methods they use.
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the methods they use in their work. on the whole, this matter was taken care of within a few hours. whether -- they did a very professional job quickly. they used several channels simultaneously. different agencies worked simultaneously and they all achieved the same results. whether they will find a mastermind behind this association and whether there is such a person, i don't know yet. it will become clear with time. they are working. finally, you asked whether our troops are present in ukraine. i can tell you there are no russian troops in ukraine. actually, during the recent conflict in southeastern ukraine in donbass, the head of the
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general staff of ukrainian army openly and publicly said one meeting with foreign colleagues our war is not against the , russian army. what else can you add to that? >> as a follow-up question, what is the reason why russian foreign-policy failed in ukraine? russia invested up to 33 billion u.s. dollars. the u.s., only $5 billion. that was the confession by victoria nuland. president putin: it is not our failure. it is the failure of ukraine's domestic policy. yes, we helped ukraine. even when it was a very difficult time for us ourselves. please apply to them with fuel at a much lower price than
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the international market price. this was a real economic aid that ran into dozens of billions of dollars. this is no exaggeration. we had very close cooperation and i hope it may be recovered somehow in the future. we also had all sorts of trade relations. what happened? president putin: people were tired of poverty of fraud, embezzlement, greed of government officials, corruption of oligarchs in the government. people got tired of all of that.
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when the nation is in this kind of condition, they start looking for ways out and unfortunately sometimes they turn to people who take advantage of the current difficulties and offers a simple solution, including nationalists. this happened in russia as well in the 1990's. we had what they called the sovereignty parade and nationalism. yes, we had very similar situations in russia. this is what happens in ukraine. all of these nationalist forces took advantage of the situation and as a result, you have the situation we have today. it is not our failure, it is the failure of ukraine itself. perhaps we missed that alienation process. there is a threat in other posts
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soviet countries. if you look at the number of nonprofits, they are financed by the u.s. how much does russia spend on the activities? it is much lower. president putin: you had a freudian slip. you said alienation of ukraine. a sovereign country. you should respect that. in the 1990's, when we declared sovereignty of the russian federation, it was quite a step. we liberated them from ourselves. we did this ourselves.
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since we made this decision, we have to respect their independence now. this is the church the people of ukraine have made. it is up to them to decide how to build this relationship. during the previous ukrainian crisis, how did this happen? they had been third round of elections. this was totally unconstitutional. we turned a blind eye and we kept working with them. now, we cannot. we see this upsurge of nationalists and this is unacceptable. we have to respect other countries, we have to build our relationships with them. other than that, it is beyond our control. what i mean is these are independent nations and we cannot meddle in their affairs we cannot interfere. this would be wrong.
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we build our relations as part of a -- our economic union with kazakhstan, belarus, these alliances it is not to make those nations closer to us. the significance is to create better conditions for all the people living in our countries to have open borders we don't care if a russian person lives here on this to s territory or cross the border. we care about their rights not being infringed upon, they are allowed to speak their mother tongue. if that is the case, we don't care if people have a good life in those countries and they are treated fairly -- this is the kind of relationship we have with kazakhstan and armenia.
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we would like this growth -- this is the main thing -- it is not that the want to keep those countries under our influence. it is not our goal to rebuild an empire like they accuse us. this is a natural integration process. the whole world is thinking this way of integration. latin america, in north america also, we see the u.s. and canada, europe, asia everywhere. when we do the same thing, they tell us we are building an empire. why can't we have integration? it is not our goal to build an empire. we do not have imperial aspirations. we want to make sure russians living in neighboring countries have a decent life by developing our cooperation with them.
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>> russia is a country where thousands of the ukrainians found refuge. take the town on the border of the ukraine. we have our reporter working there. reporter: hello, moscow we are at a hotel in the rostov region. refugees from ukraine live here. most of them came weeks ago and they are deciding where to go and whether they will find a job. there are 19 people in this hotel including several children. all the necessary conditions have been created for them. all of the children go to school. younger children have therapy
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sessions. we spent a few days here and got to know them. we would like to introduce you. this guy, how are you? >> four. >> where did you come from? tell us about your hometown. can you tell us about it? tell us about luhansk. >> it was bombed. we were in sevastopol first. now it has been destroyed. reporter: let's go to the living room now. while we are on our way can i , ask you where do you come from? >> i also come from luhansk. reporter: do you have other relatives there? >> my grandmother is there. reporter: when was the last time
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you talked to them? >> it has been a while. i sometimes talk to them on social networks. reporter: do you miss them? >> yes. reporter: you can address them directly. you can tell them whatever you want. the camera is over there. >> i just want to say hello to all of my friends and my grandmother and grandfather and my father. reporter: they will see you. take your seats now. currently in the rostov region alone, there are 38,000 refugees from ukraine. they have a lot of questions. hello my name is alexander. we want to know what will happen to our regions in the future. what will happen to those territories? what are the prospects of becoming separated?
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even though many people like the ukraine, because of this conflict, there is no way for us to live together. can you give me the status of those territories? the future of our regions together. president putin: first of all, we need to get life back to normal. all of the people must go back to their homes. i know that people who live in dunbas, i know that you are all patriots. people stay there because they
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love their homeland. you must create conditions for normal leaving, you must earn money, raise children. got to have conditions for that. we need to revive economic times. our generation in ukraine is based on coal. it is ridiculous to buy coal from south africa or australia. that is silly but we see it. there are other types of attempts to revive economic times.
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we are seeing this happening -- the first steps. the start of the minsk agreement , we might find some provisions that were held to restore the single political space but of course, it is the people of the republic that have the ultimate right to decide and will depend on the flexibility and wisdom of the cranium leadership -- ukrainian leadership.>> we have people working at this hotel with us, people who live here, and they have many difficult questions.>> mr. president, my name is tatiana.
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we live on the border. we are very much afraid for our children and grandchildren during the hostility. it was very close to where we live. we had our suitcases packed. do you think the war will start? president putin: i think it is impossible. so, don't worry. there were some instances. some of the shells ended up on russian territory but i still think it is just an accident not an intended attempt to attack russia or to damage
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russian infrastructure.>> mr. president, we have received tragic news from kiev right now. this is one of the brightest well known ukrainian journalist. he was just killed. he participated on talk shows of russian channels more than once. this tragedy just happened hours ago. just the other day, he was skilled. president putin: this is not the first political killing. there was a series of assassinations. i said it is a disgrace to russia and the law enforcement will do anything to find those executed, those who ordered it. ukraine wants to be a democratic state.
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it has to do the same. but nothing like that is happening. europe and the u.s. turn a blind eye to it. we will to express condolences to the family and his colleagues.>> i also offer my condolences.
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regardless of local convictions, there is one subject on which we all agreed in russia. in every family, they have their own hero. this is why any attempt to rewrite history of the great periodic war gets rejected in our country. now, the red army is no longer regarded as liberators. it is on the same board as nazi germany. what do think about that as the son of a person who was in war? president putin: i have met feelings. -- mixed feelings. a very difficult issue. i will try to be brief. you cannot compare not cease -- nazis, simply because not seized openly, publicly said that they were going to destroy jews gypsies. stalin was not an angel.
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entire nations were exiled and there were purges. stalin never wanted to destroy entire -- it doesn't make sense to compare these two figures. secondly, maybe not as pleasant for us, there was still some ground for these allegations. after world war ii, we tried to make many eastern european countries live like we lived. it was done by force. it is not good and of course, we here the echo of those today. the same with the u.s. they try to impose their developments around the world and they are doomed to fail.>> mr. president, i have a question on
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isis. we know there are some russians who fight alongside isis. we have special camps where they drop people in central asia and there are russian citizens. so, how serious is this threat in your opinion and is russia capable of withstanding this organization? are we taking any preventative measures? president putin: first of all, i would like to say that isis first emerged in iraq and then syria. i like to point out to you that
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in iraq, there was this very undemocratic regime. there was no terrorism at the time. then, after they killed saddam hussein, and he actually cooperated with the u.s. to a certain point and they supported his war with iran. iran has not been at war with anyone for the past 30 years. anyway, after they destroyed the country and after some of the people there, a solid part of the population still part of the former elite was sidelined and lost their offices, their jobs. they had no way to survive. they joined extremist organizations and they set up
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isis. a large number of former military officers from the iraqi army joined it. this is what makes them so effective, they are professionals. they began to attract other radicals and extremists of all sorts to this region. of course, there is no direct threat for us from isis. the thing you mention, we are really concerned that our people appearing there as well. they can get training and come back to russia. there are people from countries who get their military training there and come back. we are aware of that. you are taking necessary steps.
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i cannot tell you that we know all of their names but we do know the approximate number and places where they get their training. we do know certain names. our security agencies are working very well in this area. actually, they cooperate with other serious countries -- with other countries on this issue.>> i would like to go back to political assassinations. you just mentioned the killing in ukraine and the killing of boris himself -- boris himself. sometimes, investigators cannot question someone. someone might hide in one of the
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russian regions and they cannot get it. a person is still diluted meters away -- still 200 meters away. investigators know who killed but can't find the person. you have hundreds of people that lay flowers. they put up russian flags. they want to have some kind of memorial. no, they are not allowed to do it. plastic bags -- flags are put in plastic bags and stored away. i would like you to make a statement on that. you knew boris. my second question, you are from
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st. petersburg, i have from moscow. but the president might make a proposal and then the moscow government might rename the street to vladimir visclosky street and maybe we might have the bridge named after four boris themselves -- after boris nemtsov. pres. putin: i don't think there is any need for me to repeat myself. it is up to local and regional authorities.
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there is a law according to which flags can be set up at a place where someone was killed after 10 years since his death. but i repeat, moscow authorities can and should make an appropriate decision as for flowers and other things. i don't know why there is a need for such restrictions and i don't welcome that. on the contrary, i don't think there is anything wrong with that, with people laying icons or flowers. i will definitely talk to the moscow mayor and make sure that they don't interfere with that. you mentioned discuss the -- v iscosky street. i think vladimir visclosky
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deserves to have a street named after him in moscow. and i will also talk to the moscow mayor about that.>> i studied the laws and it says that the russian president has the right to propose it and any decision would be taken. please introduce that proposal. pres. putin: and maybe i will actually use this right. but it doesn't necessarily mean i should immediately. there are other ways to do this. i can talk to the mayor and we can sorted out, don't worry. host: host another question from the audience.>> either question on mistrials.
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-- i have a question on mistrials. the helicopter carrier, will we demand a handover, a compensation, or what? what about military technical cooperation with europe and france? what is the future of such cooperation? pres. putin: the decision not to deliver the ships under an existing contract is certainly a bad sign. but to us, in terms of our dependence capabilities, frankly this is absolutely significant for us. we signed those contracts in the
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first place in order to support our partners, make sure that their shipbuilding, shipyards are busy. and we plan to use those helicopter carriers in the far east. i believe that the french will give our money back to us. we don't plan to insist on them making some extra payments, some fines, penalties and so on. we want all of our costs covered. this certainly indicates the
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reliability of our partners who are part of nato and give up part of their sovereignty. this means their reliability is questionable and we will certainly take this into account in our future defense contracts with them. >> these cities tour has parking with comcast learn about the history of saint augustine florida. i>> ponce lyons it may or may not have been searching with views. he may have been looking for properties for the king of spain. we do know that he came ashore after searching for good harbor to find water and would.
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this is one of a few freshwater springs in the area. it's the location of the first settlement. 42 years before the settlement of jamestown and 55 years before the pilgrims landed on one of rock. >> the hotel was built by henry morrison. flagler is a man who is very little known outside the state of florida. he was one of the mouth -- wealthiest men in america. he had been a cofounder of standard oil company with john d rockefeller. he was a man who wanted to undertake some great enterprise. as it turned out, florida was it. he needed to own the railroad.
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he needed to ensure that test can get to his hotel conveniently. the dream was beginning to grow. it he was a man who had big dreams. it>> watch all of our events from florida. >> c-span's pleased to present the winners. student can is our annual competition that allows students to think critically about issues that face the nation. students create documentaries based on the theme the three branches and you.
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allie stanley and catherine thompson are one of our second prize winners. they focused on the tennessee valley authority act of 1933. >> the tennessee valley was exposed to electricity. this became a booming economy. what could change the economic climate so quickly? >> the impossible became the reality. this was one of the most successful government project. >> the president was franklin delano roosevelt. he had a vision to improve the quality of life and the tennessee valley region. he created the tennessee valley
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authority. >> this was the plan to have a series of dams. this would open the river to navigation. it would give farmers the benefit of modern science and health and control the water on their land. this will exploit the mineral resources of the area. this would reinforce millions of acres. the plan would use the electric power to develop industry in the cities. it was going to electrify farms throughout the rural areas. >> president roosevelt signed the act in 1933. >> it's interesting to think back about what it's like without electricity. it's changed everything.
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the automobile changed everything. >> husband says he and his little brother watched the toaster. >> our main headquarters are in knoxville. we have a large orifice complex -- office complex. we are spread out for a seven state region. >> the agency runs the largest river system to reduce flood statement -- damage. >> millions of people enjoy activities on race -- lakes.
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there are 80 public recreation areas. >> we own and operate, but it's the people's property. the people of the tennessee valley have hundreds of thousands of acres that one can recreate. >> this is one of the dams that produce electricity. >> power is generated using the force of falling water area water is held behind a dam. when electricity is needed, some of the water is released. gravity causes the water to fall. the falling water hits a
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waterwheel. it is located at the end. what a turbine spends, it goes up to an electrical generator. as the shaft turns it produces electricity. the water continues into the river on the other side of the dam. they own and operate one of the largest and most reliable transmission systems in north america. they serve 9 million residents. >> my experience is that tva was a godsend to the people of the south. they dammed up water.
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it covered the farms. the tennessee valley authority made the south, live. >> it can be summed up in three phrases. keep the lights going keep the lights glowing the economy going, and the river flowing. >> tva has helped lead the region to a cleaner and more secure energy future area --. >> everything we do is centered around improving the quality of life for the people of the tennessee valley. we've been doing that for 81 years. that is our focus today. >> life in the valley would not be the same without it.
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it has drastically improved daily life. our community has equally been one of the greatest federal projects. >> to watch all the winning videos and learn more about our competition, go to and click on student cam. let us what you know on facebook and twitter. >> the u.s. takes over as the chair of the arctic council next week. today, the center for strategic and international that he told the discussion on the agenda focusing on climate change, maritime safety and the health of arctic inhabitants did we will join lisa murkowski and others. it is live at 9:00 on c-span3.
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today, the chinese vice minister of finance speaks. he will address the china economy and economic relations. "washington journal" is next. the new hampshire republican party host a leadership summit with several potential nominees. >> while in her mid-40's, she was considered an enemy by the british and threatened to take her hostage. she would become our first first lady at age 57.
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she is martha washington. from martha washington to michelle obama, sundays at 8:00. as a compliment, c-span's new book. presidential historians on the lives of 45 iconic american women. it is now available as a hardcover or an e-book from your favorite bookstore. >> chris young and aaron quinn. they will discuss the report on legal loop also love companies to add ingredients to food without safety reviews. later, a discussion on family
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leave and pregnancy discrimination. we will take your calls and you can join the conversation on face can twitter. ♪ host: congress has left town for the weekend. lots of news in its wake. the house yesterday passed a repeal of the estate tax. a major pacific trade deal was announced yesterday. not everybody is happy. harry reid in the senate says it republican leaders do not act soon he will try to force a vote on loretta lynch for attorney general. as for the pilot of the gyrocopter there is a mix of curiosity and outrage after the pilot flew under the radar