Vladimir Putin's annual address to Federal Assembly

Vladimir Putin's annual address to Federal Assembly

Russian President Vladimir Putin has delivered his annual address to the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation at the St. George Hall of the Grand Kremlin Palace.

"Starting this year's message, I want to thank the Russian military who are fighting against international terrorism," the President said. He added that the widows of Oleg Peshkov and Alexander Pozynich, who were killed in Syria, were in the hall. Vladimir Putin announced a minute of silence in memory of the soldiers.

"The fight against terrorism is the fight for freedom and justice, for the lives of the people and the future of the whole civilization. Russia faced it in the middle of the 1990s, and our country, its citizens saw cruel terrorist attacks. These tragedies have already claimed the lives of thousands people and this pain that will stay with the country, family and friends forever. It took almost 10 years to reign in the terrorists. But this evil still exists. Two years ago there were terrorist attacks in Volgograd, recently the plane was blown up over Sinai," he continued.

"In the modern world it is impossible to defeat terrorism through the efforts of just one country. The problem of Afghanistan has not been settled yet, the situation in that country is alarming and does not inspire optimism, and recently successful countries in the Middle East have turned into a zone of chaos and anarchy. We know why it happened, we know who wanted to oust unwanted regimes. The result was enmity between people and they washed their hands, opening the way to radicals and terrorists. A particular threat comes from the militants in Syria. They are receiving money, weapons and accumulating strength, and if they win there, they will also inevitably come to us to to sow fear and hatred, blow up, kill and torture people. We must meet and eliminate them at distant approaches. Our armed forces in Syria are fighting primarily for Russia," the president stressed.

"In the struggle against terrorism Russia has demonstrated extreme responsibility and leadership. Our actions supported were supported by Russian society, its deep awareness of the total threat of terrorism and its manifestation of genuine patriotic feelings and high moral qualities were seen in its position. Our national interests, history, traditions and values are to be protected," Putin said.

"We need to create a common international front on the basis of international law and under the auspices of the United Nations Organization. Every civilized state must contribute by concrete actions. There should be no double standards, no attempts to use them for their own purposes, no bloody business with terrorists," he stressed.

"We know who in Turkey are filling their pockets by selling oil stolen from Syria. For that money the terrorists buy weapons, recruit mercenaries, organize cruel terror attacks. We also remember that Turkey supported the militants who fought in the North Caucasus in the 90s. Meanwhile, I want to emphasize that the people of Turkey are kind, hard-working and talented, we have a lot of old and trusted friends in Turkey. We do not equate them and part of the current Turkish leadership, which holds a direct responsibility for the deaths of our troops in Syria," the head of state noted.

"We will not forget this, let those who shot our pilots in the back, who hypocritically try to justify themselves and their actions, know it. I do not understand why they did it. We were prepared to cooperate with Turkey on the most sensitive issues and go further than their allies. Only Allah knows why they did it. Apparently Allah decided to punish the ruling clique in Turkey by taking their sanity. Responsibility for the country and the people is the basis of our actions. We are not going to indulge in sabre rattling, but if someone thinks that he will get away with the current restrictions, they are wrong and they will feel sorry about it more than once. We know what to do," Vladimir Putin said.

He recalled that Russia will hold parliamentary elections next year. "The pre-election competition should be fair and transparent, it is necessary to ensure unconditional confidence in the results, in the strong legitimacy of the elections. The necessary attention will be given to the candidates' programs on corruption," he said.

"People are asking questions: "When will we overcome the difficulties?" The situation is difficult, but not critical. There are positive trends in industrial production, the exchange rate has stabilized. But this does not mean you have to settle down and wait for miraculous changes. We should be prepared for the fact that this period can take a long time. If nothing is changing, then our reserves will be used up and economic growth rates will be at zero," he warned.

"Russia has no right to be vulnerable. We need to be strong in the economy and technology, we need to use current opportunities," Vladimir Putin stressed.

"Bear in mind that a number of industries have faced risk. The government should provide special support measures, financial resources have been provided for this," the president said.

"Russia has loudly declared itself as a strong independent state with a thousand years of history and tradition. Russia is waging an open struggle against international terrorism. Only we can cope with these challenges," Putin said.

"Together we will succeed," Putin concluded.