Putin’s Annual Marathon Press Conference

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Putin’s Annual Marathon Press Conference
by Stephen Lendman
Annually he spends hours answering questions submitted in advance, by categories from millions submitted worldwide, focusing on vital issues – a candidly forthright tour de force unmatched by any Western leaders, notably no US one.
Commenting on Russia’s economy, Putin was upbeat, saying recession ended, growth resumed, GDP “rising for three quarters in a row.”
He’s taking measures to improve living standards for poor Russians, still suffering from Boris Yeltsin’s post-Soviet neoliberal shock therapy, aided by recession conditions now easing.
He called anti-Russian sanctions beneficial, enabling the country to become more self-reliant and self-sufficient, along developing stronger ties with China and other countries.
“We do not consider the US our enemy,” he said. “Russophobia (is part of) intensified (internal) political infighting.” 
“The United States constantly tries to exert influence on the minds of the residents of other countries. Take a globe, spin it and point with a finger to any place.”
US interests are everywhere – interfering in the internal affairs of virtually all countries. “I know this from talks…with all the heads of state. They do not want to quarrel with the Americans and no one directly speaks about this,” Putin explained.
Putin failed to explain longstanding US policy calls for regime change in all independent countries like Syria, Iran, China, Russia and others – wanting pro-Western puppet governance installed, using color revolutions and naked aggression to try accomplishing its objective, why endless US war on humanity rages.
He’s hopeful for improved relations with America, knowing bipartisan US hostility toward Russia hasn’t been overcome since the 1917 revolution.
Will he seek reelection in 2018? Only Russian citizens can decide who’ll serve as president, he said. The country’s democratic process shames America’s sham system – one party rule, each of its two right wings taking turns.
On information warfare, Putin said Western “media and the Internet are manipulated to circulate fake news for political purposes” – polar opposite journalism the way it should be.
He’s ready to engage in constructive dialogue with anyone internally or abroad. He declines to engage others seeking “to score their political points.”
A Crimean bridge linking Russia’s newest republic with the mainland is scheduled for completion ahead of schedule.
Russian military operations in Syria enabled the testing of new weapons in real time. “We have deployed our state-of-the-art weapons to Syria and watched how they performed,” he explained.
Russia seeks resolving the conflict diplomatically, its good faith efforts going all-out to achieve it.
Putin compared Comey’s leak to The NYT on his private conversations with Trump to Edward Snowden’s disclosures – with a touch of humor adding:
“We would be ready to offer (him) political asylum…if he’s persecuted in the US.”
He’s ready to cooperate with America on vital geopolitical issues if its leadership expresses a similar desire in good faith – never before in modern memory, virtually impossible now with bipartisan neocons infesting Washington.
If America was governed the way Putin leads Russia, a new era of peace and stability would replace endless wars of aggression.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com

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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.