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“The country has fallen in bloody chaos, fratricidal conflict,” Putin said at a meeting with Russian lawmakers in the Black Sea resort city of Yalta. He said that the situation is deteriorating. “A major humanitarian catastrophe has broken out in the southeast [of Ukraine],” Putin said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russian sanctions are not just retaliatory measures, but a means to support domestic producers and open up the domestic market to new partners.
“They are not just retaliatory steps. In the first place they are measures to support the domestic producers and to open up our markets to the countries and producers who are eager to cooperate with Russia and prepared for such cooperation,” the head of state said at a meeting with State Duma members in the seaside Crimean resort of Yalta on Thursday.
Putin added that regardless of the foreign political and foreign economic situation “the most important thing for us now is internal affairs, our tasks and goals that the people of Russia, the citizens of Russia set to us.”
Putin explained that the authorities should focus on the solution of national problems.
“Our future is in our own hands,” Putin said with certainty.
The Russian government is drafting a program for additional support of the national agricultural sector, President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with Russian lawmakers in Yalta on Thursday.
“The government is currently preparing an additional program for the support of agriculture,” he told members of the State Duma lower house of parliament.
Banning the imports of a number of food items from the West, Russia acted justifiably, not violating the World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules, President Vladimir Putin said.
The president said he considered pressure exerted on Russia ineffective.
“In my view, they (measures of pressure) are indeed rude, ineffective and harmful,” Putin stressed.
“Their aim is to ensure the global dominance of the United States. This is true,” Putin said, adding the aim could also be to create more profitable conditions of global competition for the United States and push Russia slightly away from the European market.
“We must calmly, with dignity and effectively improve our country without isolating it from the outside world, without breaking ties with our partners, but also not allow us to be treated in insolent and tutorial manner,” Putin said at a meeting with members of the Russian parliament’s lower house, the State Duma, in Russia’s southern resort city of Yalta.
The president said he was confident that the Russian society needs to consolidate itself and mobilize “neither for any wars, nor conflicts, but for persistent work for Russia and in the name of Russia.”
Much of the Russian people’s solidarity depends on the work of lawmakers, according to Putin.
Russia’s quitting the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) is possible, but is not on the agenda at the moment, Putin said.
Russia is ready to withdraw unilaterally from international treaties, if this step meets domestic interests, President Vladimir Putin added.
“Let’s take the United States which walked out unilaterally from the Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty,” he recalled. “We proceed as they believe from our national security considerations,” he said.
“I believe that Crimea today may be a unique yardstick. It is capable of playing a unique unifying role for Russia, the role of a historical and spiritual source and another line of reconciliation of the Reds and the Whites,” Putin said.
Putin recalled that the Crimean peninsula remembers triumphs and the tragedy of the fratricidal civil war in the early years of the 20th century, where Russians were killing Russians.
The head of state said Crimea may help heal the injury the Russian people suffered as a result of the dramatic split of the 20th century and to mend the timeline of Russia’s history.
Putin urged legislators, representatives of political parties, religious organizations and culture workers to give thought to how to cope with this task.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has reiterated his call for ensuring the real equality of three languages - Russian, Ukrainian and Tatar - in Crimea.
He was speaking at a meeting with State Duma members in the seaside resort of Yalta on Thursday.
Caution is needed in dealing with proposals to amend the Russian Constitution, Russian President Vladimir Putin adde.
“I think we should treat this document, the foundation of the country and our life, very carefully,” he said meeting with lawmakers in Crimea
All this work “is not militarization, but a powerful impetus to the development of the national defense industry” Vladimir Putin Russian President “The work to exonerate the repressed people of Crimea must be carried out in full and the real equality of the three languages guaranteed,” he said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said he approved the program to build a group of armed forces in Crimea.
The program drawn by the Ministry of Defense will not be expensive, so Crimea will not have excessive number of troops or armaments.
He said that Moscow’s policy of developing the national armed forces was by no means a manifestation of war-mongering. He explained that the sole objective was to make the modern army up-to-date, easy to run, and compact.
“There must be advanced, compact and effective armed forces. This is the main thrust of the program extending till 2020-2021,” Putin said.
Putin recalled that the program pursued ambitious goals and a mammoth sum of 20 trillion roubles had been allocated for it.
“We are still to put the money to use,” Putin said, adding that the money would be spent on creating offensive and defensive weapons that other countries did not have yet.
All this work “is not militarization, but a powerful impetus to the development of the national defense industry,” Putin said.
Russian Prime Minister and chairman of Russia’s ruling United Russia party Dmitry Medvedev, State Duma speaker Sergei Naryshkin and a number of federal ministers are also attending Putin’s meeting with the State Duma lawmakers in Crimea’s Yalta.
Later on Thursday, the Russian president will meet with men of culture to discuss issues of Crimea’s integration into Russia’s cultural space.
The Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol, a city with a special status on the Crimean peninsula, signed reunification deals with Russia on March 18 after a referendum two days earlier in which an overwhelming majority of Crimeans voted to secede from Ukraine and join the Russian Federation.
Work to integrate the Crimean Peninsula into Russia’s economic, financial, credit, legal, state power, military conscription and infrastructure systems is actively underway now that Crimea has become part of Russia.
Sergei Aksyonov, the republic’s acting head, earlier said that the full adaptation of the republic of Crimea to the Russian legislation may take up to five years.
In the Soviet Union, Crimea used to be part of Russia until 1954, when it was gifted to Ukraine by Soviet Communist Party leader Nikita Khrushchev.