Russian President Vladimir Putin’s most notable statements at his annual press-conference
On the Ukrainian sailors captured in the Kerch Strait
“As for the future of the Ukrainian servicemen, they were sent in the hopes that one of them would die, but thank God, this did not happen. There is an investigation, and after criminal proceedings it will become clear as to what should be done with them further”.
On the indolence of the Ukrainian church
“You don’t like Moscow? Well, here’s Constantinople. Look at what kind of dependence (ed. the Ukrainian church) received, it came from the Turkish Patriarchate – there are a lot of appointments there, and money, and most importantly. I think that this is the main motive of Bartholomew – to subjugate this territory, and then also to earn from it. I think this is the main motive, well, except, of course, that and prompts from Washington.”
On US military plans
“Now the USA is taking another step – they are withdrawing from the Treaty on the Elimination of Medium and Shorter-Range Missiles. What will happen next? It is very difficult to imagine how the situation will develop further. And if these missiles appear in Europe, what should we do? Of course, it will be necessary to ensure our safety in some way. They shouldn’t be able to complain about us getting some ‘advantages’. These aren’t advantages – this is maintaining balance and security”.
On plans to marry
“As any other normal person, I should indeed get married”
Reactions of social media users
“The people were expecting something else from him: ‘I’m tired, I’m leaving, forgive me, people! But he continued, for the 19th time, to talk nonsense”.
“I don’t turn it on [watch the address]. I have pity on myself. I’ll go crazy from the sense of powerlessness”.
“The main question was not posed: “When will he go?”
“This is not a press conference. This is a panoramic shot of the graveyard of Russian journalism.”