This time round, due to the pandemic, journalists requested questions by video hyperlink from convention rooms throughout the huge nation, as far east because the port metropolis of Vladivostok, greater than 5,500 miles away on the Pacific. Mr. Putin spoke remotely from a studio at his residence outdoors Moscow, consistent with his observe because the begin of the pandemic of avoiding virtually all physical contact with others.
The few journalists who bought to be in the identical room as Mr. Putin in the course of the information convention all spent two weeks in quarantine in a Kremlin-run resort, beneath the watch of Russia’s model of the Secret Service. They had been barred from leaving their rooms with out an agent’s permission and obtained their meals in single-use containers positioned on a chair outdoors their door, the state run RIA Novosti information company reported.
The questions, as all the time, alternated between geopolitics and native issues such because the water provide in Crimea. A 10-year-old boy requested why different nations didn’t like Russia, despite the fact that “we don’t do them any hurt.” Sergei Shnurov, a rock star turned journalist, requested Mr. Putin why Russian hackers didn’t assist President Trump win this 12 months’s American election and whether or not Mr. Putin deliberate to supply Mr. Trump a job in Russia.
“I don’t suppose Trump wants any assist discovering employment,” Mr. Putin stated. “He has fairly a big base of help inside america, and so far as I perceive he doesn’t plan to depart from the political lifetime of his nation.”
American officials stated in latest days that the State Division and components of the Pentagon had been among the many authorities entities compromised by a classy Russian hack, however Mr. Putin didn’t touch upon the matter. As an alternative, he stated Russian-American relations had develop into “hostage to home politics” in america, referring to Democrats’ criticism of Mr. Trump as being too gentle on Russia.
“We anticipate that the brand new president-elect of america will perceive what’s going on,” Mr. Putin went on, referring to Joseph R. Biden Jr. “He’s an skilled man, each in home politics and in overseas coverage, and we anticipate that each one the issues which have arisen — if not all, then not less than some — can be solved by the brand new administration.”
Questions all through the information convention centered on the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed 49,151 folks in Russia, based on official statistics which can be extensively seen as understating the toll. Mr. Putin, echoing a typical chorus of Russian officers and the state media, acknowledged that Russia was hit onerous however insisted that issues had been even worse elsewhere. He floated the possibility that the federal government may give members of the general public only one dose of Russia’s predominant coronavirus vaccine, as an alternative of two, to get the vaccine shortly to extra folks.