Putin says he “resolutely” defended Russian interests in 2021

Russian President Vladimir Putin said in his New Year’s speech to his people on Friday that he had “resolutely” defended Russia’s interests in the year 2021, which saw renewed tensions with the United States.

“We have firmly and consistently defended our national interests, the security of our country and our citizens,” Putin said in his traditional speech, which is broadcast every December 31 at midnight. in Russia.

The country spans 11 time zones, and the easternmost provinces greeted the new year, long before the Moscow region.

Putin’s comments come the day after he made a phone call with his US counterpart, Joe Biden, to discuss military tensions linked to Ukraine.

Kiev and Western countries accuse Russia of amassing its forces on Ukraine’s borders in prediction of a possible invasion, which Moscow denies.
During the phone call between the two leaders on Thursday, Putin warned the president of the United States from imposing new sanctions, saying they could lead to a “complete rupture” in relations between Russia and the West.

The Russian president, in power since 1999, also faced the health crisis linked to Covid-19, with Russia considered one of the countries most affected by the virus in the world, especially due to the reluctance of citizens to be vaccinated.

“This insidious disease has claimed tens of thousands of lives,” he said, adding that his government’s “main goal” for the next year is “to improve the well-being and quality of life of the population.”

On Thursday, Russia’s national statistical agency, Rosstat, reported more than 87,000 Covid-related deaths in November alone, a number record for the country.

According to the agency, so far in Russia more than 600,000 people have died from Covid, almost double the official government budget.

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