Highlights of Putin’s Federal Assembly Address

Domestic issues were given priority in this year's annual address to the Federal Assembly that Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered on Wednesday. The Address summed up the first year of his 4th presidential tenure, during which he vowed to create breakthroughs to make Russia powerful again.

Putin's Address was primarily devoted to matters of domestic social and economic development aimed at driving Russia forward, improving people's living conditions, and solving problems, like housing construction, childbirth allowances, and healthcare services in remote areas. Putin said one way to reduce poverty is to introduce social contracts that will benefit 9 million people.

The President set a target of 3% economic growth n 2021 and a 7% increase in investment in science and technology in 2020. He said Russia will be one of the world's leaders in genetics and information technology by 2025.

Putin said relations with the two close neighbors Belarus and Ukraine have priority in his foreign policy. He also pays close attention to Russia's relationships with China, India, and Japan. Russia will seek a peace treaty with Japan and expects concrete steps by the European Union and major European countries to put political and economic relations with Russia back on track. Russia's foreign policy demonstrates a willingness to dialogue and cooperate on a basis of equality and mutual respect.

Putin dedicated a large part of his Address to Russia's relations with the US and its defense capability following the US's withdrawal from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. He criticized the US for targeting Russia with sanctions and for breaching international law. Putin said Russia seeks full, equal, friendly relations with the US and is ready to dialogue whenever the US is ready.

Putin included Russia's next generation of weapons in his Address and reiterated that their purpose is defending national sovereignty and territorial integrity, retaliating against foreign threats, and protecting Russians.

Source: VOV5