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tv   Russian President Putin Holds Annual News Conference  CSPAN  December 19, 2019 10:29pm-11:27pm EST

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brought to you by your cable or satellite provider. c-span, your unfiltered view of government. ♪ thursday night, the pbs news hour and politico held the sixth and last presidential candidates debate of the year and seven candidates took part in the event in los angeles. c-span re-airs the debate at friday night at 8 -- re-airs the debate friday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern. >> russian president vladimir putin held his annual end-of-year news conference in , moscow. this portion of the 4.5 hour event included questions about russia's relationship with ukraine, his impression of british prime minister boris johnson, and the impeachment vote against president trump.
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my question will be about sports, and mainly about the situation, complicated situation that the national sport has found itself in. recently on a night in december, the executive committee has taken unprecedented decision to ban all russians from all the major sport events that include olympic games, paraolympic games, both winter and summer. and the reason for such a decision was a failure to respond to the demands for the roadmap for the moscow doping agency, and of the information they handed over to the world anti-doping agency. so they were deprived of their rights so they were basically , disqualified too. and the country that suffered
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from the sanctions, the side that suffered the most, are athletes, innocent athletes. what needs to be done? what do athletes need to do, and how is the national russian sport going to develop in such a tough and complicated situation? thank you. mr. putin: i'll respond to your question, but i've jotted down some things that i saw. i think i missed something when i was responding to the previous question. so i will go back to you, but first i want to say a things the primary care. we will allocate additionally, on top of what we have, $550 billion rubles on top of what we have in the national project dedicated to health care.
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so these 550 billion will help to purchase new transport, new equipment. 10,000 medical facilities will be built. 37,000 vehicles will be purchased. and up to 30,000 -- let me consult my notes -- up to 10,000 pieces of equipment. so i very much hope that it won't take long before we can implement these plans, and people will feel that change. now, the national projects would
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also provide some investment into primary care, but definitely the key investment will go to treat cancer diseases. we do have some success in terms of heart diseases. on tb, child mortality went down significantly. that's where we would need to move. these are the avenues that we want, to go further. now, going back to waga and its well, it's not fair, , first of all. it doesn't make sense. and it runs counter to international law. take doping rule violations. and the decisions were taken
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before the previous olympic games. and now it's happening again. that's never happened in the history of humanity, to be punished for the same crime twice. and again, every punishment should be individual. if you find someone responsible for violating doping rules, then that's natural, then that's fair. but if the vast majority of our athletes are clean, how can you slap a ban against them? take our young figure skating stars. do they have any relation to those scandals? no. so they are geniuses, they can do what others cannot. ok, so that's an attempt to get rid of competitors. yes, you can do it. but will it help the world
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sports? no. and i spoke about that during the press conference in paris. thewaga,sion olympic charter, this decision, an olympic team from any country cannot compete under a neutral flag. if there are no complaints against or allegations made against the particular olympic committee. if there are no allegations, then the team russia should compete under the russian banner, under the russian flag. that's what it says in the olympic charter. and actually something was set up in close contact with our colleagues from waga, and we even elected the [indiscernible] of the anti-doping agency in
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russia, at the request of waga. so we have all the grounds to believe that this is a political decision. >> let's now go to the national media. first gentle man. the floor is yours. >> thank you. good afternoon, mr. president. >> a little louder, please introduce yourself. >> so first of all, i would like to thank you on behalf of the first channel journalists, maybe of some other russian media outlets, for your words at the press conference in paris. after the end of the press conference, we overheard it a little, you talked to president macron and chancellor merkel and you explained to them the problems of the russian journalists who are working in ukraine. and maybe we will be able to work there as secure as ukrainian journalists who are working here in russia, who are also represented here and now. i have a question in this regard about ukraine. after paris, after everything
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that has been said in these two weeks by your partners, by ukrainian party, so do you think it makes sense to meet again, as it was agreed, and what are the prospects of the normandy format? and how do you think the minsk agreements will be sustained in the next four months? and in the future, in general, ndas,are the fate of do ideally, and to all of us? -- to all of us, the journalists? your meeting with zelensky was something that we've been awaiting for a long time. and what are the prospects now to settle the russian-ukrainian relations? what are the problems, what probably is the progress due to the change of administration? and the last thing, mr. zelensky has already talked about you back in paris, so what do you think about president volodomyr zelensky? thank you. mr. putin: well, let's start with the final question. i try to evade questions like this.
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i don't think it is appropriate to characterize my counterpart, even if a person has left office. i try not to label people, to characterize them. well we may talk about some , historical figures, but i try not to pass judgment on people who are in power. some might have, you know, certain disadvantages. but if people have been elected, it means that these are extraordinary people, they have passed the test. accords, therek is no alternative to the minsk accords as simple as that. , i've been alarmed by the andi've been alarmed by the statement by president zelensky after he left paris. he said we could revise it.
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if we start a revision, we could hit a dead end, complete impasse. the special status of the donba s, that has to be embedded in the constitution, it is the centerpiece of the minsk accords. and that has been extended for a year, but we have said multiple times, me and other members of the normandy for group, that it has to be a permanent fixture, it has to be embedded in the constitution. neither the previous administration nor the existing one want to do that, but you cannot avoid it. and second, you need direct dialogue with the donbas.
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there is no dialogue. now, they say there will be changes related to decentralization, and that's good, but we will be instead of , the minsk accords would be instead of the special status of the donbas? accords, to the minsk if anything has to do with those two regions, you have to get approval from those two regions. it has been their request to get that approval. and the future meeting in april, it will be relevant if there are any positive changes. do we have any positive changes? yes. that's true. that law on the special status as has been extended, so we still have a foundation for the settlement. and second, we saw disenengagement, the pullout of the troops from several areas.
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however, our partners in ukraine don't want to pull out the troops from the entire front line. that is a mistake but that's , their stance. the number of shelling and you know, bombings has decreased, but there are still incidents like that. so there are positive changes, there is some alarming news, but i think it makes sense to work for the normandy for format -- format.andy four and you mentioned colleagues from ukraine. do we have anyone from ukraine? >> we have a special guest. let him have the mic. reporter: i represent ukrainian agency, and me personally, our agency doesn't have any problems working in russia.
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so maybe if we had ukrainian tanks in that region maybe it , will be different. >> do you mean the t-30 or t-72? >> our main battle tank is t-64. t-64. that is a soviet one. >> you mentioned the soviet legacy. >> fine, fine. >> if you allow regarding the minsk accords, can you give you give a date about disbanding the administration, because you called them republics, and the minsk accords, there is nothing about them. and there are going to be gas wars, because there is understanding that you aren't going to give $3 billion, according to the decision of the
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arbiter court. you are talking about the cheap gas, and it doesn't matter for ukraine. , disband: so you said the administration's natural gas supplies. what else? >> 3 billion. mr. putin: three billion. fine. ok. the minsk accords and dismantling the administrations in the self-declared republics, republics,ognized let's go back to minsk, where the minsk accords were produced. the former president, para cinco, -- former president, insisted on having
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signatures by the heads of those two unrecognized republics. they put a knife to my neck, metaphorically. and the heads of those republics said we don't want to do it. so that's a sneak peek behind but weks in minsk, convinced them to put their signatures. and ukraine recognized these authorities in the donbas. and second, they had the election. and had people who went voted, and this was in a classic way, to vote people in power. have a minsk accords direct reference on what is the , tot of those republics land to language, local police, everything is part of the
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minsk accords. now, going to some of the frictions there is nothing to , hide. i will be honest with you, with the russian public and the ukrainian public need to be aware of what is there. whichere is a provision says that foreign troops and mercenaries have to be pulled out, and the border should be closed. and the border will be closed on day two after the election and that will end overwhelming and comprehensive political settlement. and that includes changes to the ukrainian constitution, and granting to those republics the rights that are all spelled out in the minsk accords. and when that's done, then the border will be sealed.
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now, on the pullout of the foreign troops, you have the local police, the local defense troops and they consist of the , local residents, local residents, period. now, i have been asked a lot of times, where do they get artillery? where do they get tanks? think about the hotspots around the world. you might see them elsewhere, and there are tanks, artillery, where do they take them? maybe from other countries who are on their side, but it is their own hardware. it is not foreign hardware. as for mercenaries, yes, there are french and there are germans s.o fight on both side
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and i told my counterparts about that in paris, let's fix that. but they are not the core of those armed forces. what is the key issue? and i will be honest with you, we still don't have any desire any political will to have that -- to resolve that political issue in dialogue with those communities. and again, we don't want to use any use of action, any use of tanks or artillery. saidresident of ukraine more aviation. have we used aircraft to bomb people? yes, they used aircraft to bomb people. and once the ukrainian authorities get wind of that wrong approach, when they get back to dialogue that's when the , issue will be resolved. the minsk accords say they have
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unsociale the economic structure. but they imposed a blockade. did moscow impose a blockade? they imposed a blockade. but i hope there will be changes. as you know, the least of these improvements, there are de-mining efforts, but that's not enough. we need to improve lives of people who are there. as if we proceed from that position, if we rely on dialogue, than the situation will be resolved. and i think if you continue to use action, and use force to -- then it will be resolved. you know, there are people who care about the dignity, who care about their pride.
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and so any use of force should be excluded, should be put on -- put off the table. now the three billion. we have the national wealth fund , and part of it has been invested in the ukranian securities. 3 billion. and we have a decision by the court in london, and it's not been implemented. gaz talks, it is very sensitive issue. we want to resolve the issue. and i'm convinced, as a lawyer by profession, that the stockholm arbitration court passed this decision which is not legitimate. it's a political decision. and one of the justifications, and again, it might seem strange to all of you one of the reasons
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, for that decision by the stockholm arbitration court due , to the difficult economic situation in ukraine. that's nonsense. they made that stupid remark. yes indeed, we have a decision and we have a ruling. and we will indeed look for a ways,utually-acceptable that will be acceptable for ukraine, too. and despite new infrastructure that we are building, nordstrom r -- nordstream i ii, we areeam
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building turkish will continue to transport natural gas by ukraine. what about the size of that transit and the term of the deal? there's a question there. and again, we are interested in continuing our supplies through ukraine and actually the ukrainian root, it is longer geographically and more expensive but to transport gas , through eastern europe and give a 25% discount for supplies to ukraine directly. and it could have been decreased, the prices could have been disgraced for the consumer, for households. from what i know, the average price of gas will be beyond $300 for all categories, including individuals, including households and all the subsidies , will be removed. but which are removing towards those arrangements, and very much hope that ukraine would be satisfied with those
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arrangements too. we don't want to escalate the situation in the energy sector, or to exploit it to have an , impact on the situation in ukraine. our interest is for ukraine to get energy, and our european partners to get gas. and they need to be assured that we have normal relations with our neighbor, and everything will be according to plan. >> that is channel one, right? yes, go ahead. two days agoent, the u.s. congress adopted sanctions -- the sanctions package against russia, and the majority was so overwhelming that for trump, it will be almost impossible to retake his veto. and we know the house of representatives yesterday voted on articles of impeachment. that is the context that donald
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trump has to work in, making decisions on foreign policy, making decisions toward russia as well. so in this situation, what opportunities are there for russia and for you to keep the dialogue, maybe move the dialogue with the united states, until the end of his tenure? and what could you do to improve whategic stability, and could you do to extend the new start treaty? mr. putin: on our dialogue with trump, you used the language as if he will be voted out of office. well, you have the senate, where republicans have a majority. i don't think they will vote him , get trump on the charges. this is just political
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infighting. the democratic party lost the previous election and they wanted to achieve their goals .ith with other means at first they said there was russian intervention, there was collusion with russia, no collusion with russia. know quide, and now pro quo with ukraine. and it is up to your congressman anyway. and on the decisions here in russia, on the decisions against russia, it's not executive power . it is the legislative branch. judgmentld simply pass on russia. that will definitely have an impact on the level of our ties between the u.s. and russia. we know the u.s. wants to work with us in those areas where we are interested, where we have shared interests, and will
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continue to contain russia to , deter russia in other ways. we know that approach will use the same approach, but nothing good about it. this is an unfriendly move. they want to help ukraine. -- to help ukraine. i told the ukrainian counterparts we are interested in maintaining transitive natural gas by ukraine. say, you could have sent more money. why don't they give money to ukraine and them ukraine would -- and then ukraine would subsidize those gas tariffs? that's true. they didn't give any money or any guarantees for potential loans but that's not real money. , no real support. take the imf. the u.s. runs the imf, and the imf pushes authorities to remove all the tariffs are gas, and then the households will have to pay higher tariffs. to others in the west wanted
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export timber. well, there is nothing going to be remaining of the carved up mountains if they take out all the forests, all the timber up there. currentm to support the are alsome, but they dealing very hard blows, and now they want the land. they want the land to be sold. the land in ukraine has a sacred meaning. it is just gold, metaphorically speaking. and the opposition jumped on that. they started to hand blows, deliver blows against zelensky. we are accused. they seem, they want us to finance ukraine. well they can help themselves. , they can provide long-term financing, but zilch, nada. that is what ukraine has seen
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from its western sponsors. are interestede in maintaining and continuing our ties with the west. we will do that regardless of who is in the white house, or who controls the chambers of congress. are there any prospects? i think there are. you mentioned one of the pillars, one of the areas which we can use. can use to build our ties. that is global security. we have submitted our proposals and told the u.s. about that. we are ready to extend it, to extend the new start treaty, if they send us by mail their proposal, or we are ready to sign it and send it to washington. let them put their signature. the president could put their signature if they are ready, if they are committed. so far, no response.
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we have made our proposals, and no response from them. if there is no new start treaty, there will be nothing in the world that will contain the nuclear arms race, and that is bad. >> let's go to the first row up there. reporter: thank you so much. this is the mirror channel. as the heads of states are meeting, it is said that the celebration of the anniversary of the second world war would be very special. and you said this victory concerns every one of us, every one of us who lives in the soviet union. and you made a proposal. you proposed to the cis leaders to come to moscow that day, to celebrate together.
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you said there were some ceremonial things to be held to commemorate the day. my question is, mr. putin, don't you regret that the column of well, if someone is putin: to ourdy to come due current relationship, that would be a mistake on their part. don'tould mean that they show respect for the people who give their lives for the independence of their nation. here is what i would like to remind you of. that is actually what nazi germany wanted to do.
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they wanted to use part of the slavic people for labor. most of the slavic people should be sent to the north the aunt the euro mountains. -- beyond the mountains. of theabout survival slavic group, russians and ukrainians. we couldome people say have surrendered leningrad, i would say, are you stupid or not? none of you would be alive if that took place. we welcome everybody here in moscow, those who represent the nations who have helped us to survive. it would be a symbolic gesture and we would be happy to see those who would accept our invitation. . saw someone from minsk we will talk about iran later on. >> hello.
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as a follow-up question on the soviet union, i have a question of my own. actions taken by gorbachev, what we see today is millions of people who suffered from these actions. the question is can we give a legal response to that which took place in 1991? it would be easier to solve the issues of integrity and the problem we have with belarus. you responded to a question about the constitution, article 13.2 on ideology. cute said this is up for the public to discuss -- you said this is up for the public to discuss. but we know all across the country civil activists are gathering signatures. we have over 200,000 signatures
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coming back for the council and other bodies to assess this question. do you think it has been discussed enough, or do we need something else? mr. putin: the legal assessment whatrbachev's actions, will be the impact in terms of territorial integrity, all the documents have been signed. i don't understand what kind of legal judgment we can pass and how it can help. now on the constitution and ideology. the sovietarlier, constitution had a lot of provisions on the ideology and we just have one ideology, the ideology of the communist party. we know what it resulted in. it was one of the triggers behind the collapse of the soviet union. the party cracked and the
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country collapsed in the aftermath. there could be just one ideology . in a positive sense, it should be depoliticize. the ultimate -- it should be depoliticized. the ultimate goal is it should be the framework of the russian state. our japanese colleagues from kyoto are sitting right here. hello, mr. president. youuld like to ask regarding your attitude, your vision, your ideas regarding the nuclear war. theyad mentioned that don't want to extend the treaty
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and when this treaty will end itre will be nothing to stop and prevent nuclear war. mr. putin: what are you talking about, upcoming nuclear war? stop using that language. concerned.ery much that you are having a lot of trouble up holding -- upholding the status quo. but you have mentioned that you with mirror actions. i think it is a very bad thing because it can lead to nuclear war. what do you think about that? i understand that from time to time the military hardware must be modernized, must be updated,
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and you can speak to this principle to keep the strategic balance. sometime in the near future, you will come up with a comprehensive initiative, if possible. kind ofo consider this and if i don't ask this question, i would be reprimanded. we believe talks regarding the peace treaty got into a dead end partially because russia has concerns regarding the u.s.-japanese agreement, the defense agreement, so i will not go into detail regarding this. the inf treaty has been disbanded so it has not
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been influencing relations and we have agreed that the u.s. and japan are talking about deploying missiles in japan. ,n the other hand, in sochi you have told us that you are assisting china in coming up with a unique system in early hence we have this situation on our hands. if it is not a military alliance, at least it is a really closed relations as you military area the in the countries. could you say that in northeastern asia, there are already blocs countering each other? the u.s. and japan on one hand, and russia and china on the others. and in this situation that we have now, is it possible for
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japan and russia to meet halfway to reach mutual understanding, to gain mutual trust, so that in the future we could sign the peace treaty? first on military cooperation between japan and replied toou almost your question. japans. is in talks with intermediate range missiles. account,o take into including in regard to the violence -- in regard to the islands, what are they doing so
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these islands will not host missiles in the near future? it makes sense, it is logical. are trying to find out a solution. we have very good, trustworthy relations with the prime minister. do we have a solution? not yet. isever, what is important that we want to find that solution. there are different options. a draw.d be a win-win, can't my japanese colleagues would like it if -- and my japanese colleagues would like it if you used judo language. can we find a solution acceptable for the public? we have been trying to find one. we are ready to move on.
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on alliances, we don't have any military alliance with china. we don't plan to set it up. countries whor try to set it up with china. you mentioned south korea, japan, the u.s. they are trying to set up this alliance. this is counterproductive. it will not lead to any positive -- to anything positive. but we cooperate with china in defense. they are a high-tech country, but there are some issues which require time. ofm sure china is capable building its early warning system, but with our help it will do it faster. and that will help in a major way our strategic partner in defense. it begins with defensive capabilities. i was really surprised. this was the early warning
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system of a missile attack against you. so, that is a defensive element. it is only the u.s. and russia that have those capabilities, defensive capabilities, mind you. but again, it does not push you toward aggression. it only helps you to defend your territory. let's have another foreign reporter from the bbc. they love us so much, so you have the floor. anticipating your question. >> boris johnson about you differently. some time ago, he was calling you a tyrant.
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he even compared you to a character from harry potter. what do you think about him? what kind of impression did he make on you, has he made on you? how do yourexit, think the relations between our countries will be between great britain and russia? and since great britain is investigate the alleged interference of russian into -- of russia into the political process in the u.k., maybe you can tell us now, is russia interfering in the u.k. domestic matter? thank you. any statements by politicians from different countries about me, about russia, i am used to it. it. is how i do
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what is my attitude? i know what the interests of my country are. no matter who says what about me, it has nothing to do compared with the fundamental goals that my country is facing. but certainly, we do follow these remarks. we take it into account. here is 1.i would like to make. one point iere is would like to make. says one thing when people this to get into office, but it is quite another thing when they say this in office. they are responsible for the economy, defense. given the brexit story you mentioned, the u.k. is interested in developing ties with russia, and their
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businessmen have been telling us that thing. they have been our friends, not just some investors. we really appreciate their efforts to create jobs. we need to support them so they can feel at home here. any other points of convergence? indeed there are. recently we discussed with some the u.k. couldrs join the discussion of some of the issues, international issues , that we have mentioned here in the audience. is interested in taking a more active part in resolving these issues, including with russia. on noninterference, the
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noninterference, the officials in different countries, including from the u.k., have made statements on what is happening in russia. and you have just mentioned it, is that interference or not? you pass your judgment on what is happening here. we reserve the right to do the vis-a-vis your country. if you think it is interference, you can think like that. but i don't think it has anything to do with the real interference and what is happening. i can congratulate mr. boris johnson. he emerges as a winner. he felt the sentiment of the british public in a more sophisticated way than his opponents. on the plans
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concerning brexit. >> good afternoon. thank you for this opportunity. i work for the bbc russian service. my question is as follows. four years ago when you were asked a question about your younger daughter, you said, and i quote, "my children do not do business or politics. they are doing no such things." but we know it has changed. is founded by one of the state organizations. there was a reported income of $1.5 billion, and your daughter
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has another project. she is one of the major critics in the region. two women are being supported by your old friends, work in the state companies. we see these two women are often appearing on tv right now. everyone knows their names and how they look, so this is no secret to anyone. my question is, when will you say that they are your daughters and when they will be open to the world as the daughters of a world leader? mr. putin: you said there were some business deals. you mentioned one woman and the other lady, but maybe you missed something. have you mentioned the size of the business? have you mentioned their shares? you just came up with the fact that is not enough. you need to dig deeper and
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realize what the business is and whether they do have any business, who owns what, and who is helping who. that, it is in the spotlight. it has been an initiative by the head of moscow. since i am the chairman of the board of trustees of moscow university, that is quite a legitimate desire by our higher educational establishments to university, ms and research with demands and requirements of our producers and the end consumers. abroad, and often -- we often buy abroad, and often in the u.k., where we can produce on our own. we need to marry where we can
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produce ourselves and what our enterprises need. we need to match it. it is exactlying, this. it is matching. that is what it started with. that first applied to moscow state university. there are a lot of talented people ready to come up with their innovations, but they just need to make them known. our beneficiaries or businesses need to be aware of them so that is just one of the links between research and the real sectors of the economy. that is what they are doing. and i wish them success and may god help them to achieve tangible results. the authorized,
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capsule is almost here. inin, it is high-tech medicine, a very promising area. we lost 260,000 people this year. that is population decline. it is unacceptable. so medicine is one of the priorities for russia, and i think we need to welcome these efforts. >> national questioner. >> ok, just stand up then.
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where is the mic? >> good afternoon, mr. putin. i am with the first russian channel .first russian channel -- i am with the first russian channel. it was created with the initiative on the presidential council on international relations. my question is as follows. almost seven years ago, your article was published. seven years, has anything changed in terms of this national question? the do you think about national relations inside russia? what about the relations between ethnic groups in russia, between the regions? and one year ago, when having the press conference or right
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after, you supported the first russian national channel. and we would like to ask you again. have done a lot and the government has been helping us a lot. the supporters have done a great job. now we want to go to other regions. we want to expand, to grow and we think the regional authorities can help us with that. maybe you can help us with that. you have just said we have been helping you. is it not enough? the relations between different ethnic groups belong to a group of issues which are priority. remember, we talked about what happened when the soviet union collapsed.
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we had civil war in our country. people suffered back then. again, that was the result of adverse developments between ethnic groups .that was the result ofs the adverse developments between ethnic groups. was true for the and for other nations. how they were transported in train cars, so many people died. you will remember that. and that was due to decisions made earlier. we need to avoid that. we should avoid tragedies like this. important for russian politicians. the public opinion of the country will not allow them to
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take decisions that will destroy the unity between different ethnic groups. now we will also support any media organizations, any that will help us to smooth over any sharp corners, to resolve any disputes, any frictions. life is complicated. it is diverse. we have a very vast country. there are so many ethnic groups. we have disputes with ukraine. you have ukrainian identity. who was behind it? and a writer.cher he was the first one to talk about a separate ethnic group,
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and there were other polish studies that said that ukrainians are not slavic. they said that ukrainians come from some nomads. rubbish, but we need to know the truth. we need to understand that at a indeed, real, identity was established. we need to pay respect to it. we have been doing that, particularly inside the country. recently, we talked about an issue with schools. there were other issues. issues related to ethnic languages, rituals. we did not pay much attention to it.
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but each of the people who live in russia need to feel that is home themselves, and they don't have any other home. thank you. happy new year. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] announcer: tomorrow, the acting head of customs and border protection mark morgan talks about immigration policy and border operations. live at 1:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. your, we will bring president signing the national defense authorization act, which sets policies for fiscal year 2020. live starting at 7:20 p.m. eastern. sunday night at 8:00 eastern, american history tv on c-span3 looks back on the senate impeachment trial of president bill clinton, which took place over five weeks of january and february of 1999. thee are here because
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president suffered a terrible lapse. not a breach of the public trust. not a crime against society, the two things hamilton talked about in federalist number five. i recommend it to you before you vote. but it was a breach of his marriage vows. it was a breach of his family trust. sex scandal. announcer: explore our nation's past. watch the clinton impeachment trial sunday night at 8:00 eastern on american history tv on c-span3. back in july, the sixth circuit court of appeals in new orleans heard oral argument in texas versus the united states.the case challenged the affordable care act, specifically the legality of the individual mandate, which requires all americans


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