Western Provocations, Ties With US, & Vaccination: Highlights From Putin’s Annual Q&A Session

Russia

The president responded to dozens of questions from Russians in his annual Q&A session. Although last year’s session was called off due to the pandemic, this year – with COVID-19 vaccines being available – the event once again became possible.

Russian President Vladimir Putin answered an array of questions on 30 June from Russian citizens, who submitted their queries via SMS, the presidential website, or by other means of communication. Their topics varied from regional issues in Russia to international affairs and the country’s role in them.

Here are the highlights from Putin’s answers at this year’s Q&A session:

We Were Not at Risk of World War 3 With HMS Defender Incident

The president touched upon the issue of the recent provocation by the Royal Navy’s HMS Defender, which, as the president stressed, had entered Crimean waters on 23 June, saying it was “clearly pursuing military goals”. He added that it was a complex operation prepared not only by the UK, but also in concert with the US.

Putin also stated that in his view there was no risk of triggering World War Three with this incident. The president alleged that such a grim scenario wouldn’t have come to pass even if Russian forces sank the HMS Defender.

World is Changing and US Sees It. Still Wants to Play Dominant Role

The Russian president stated that the world is changing and alleged that the United States understands this. Washington is still trying to…

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