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We will unite the people and ‘crack’ Patriot missiles: what Putin told reporters

Putin noted that Washington has long been involved in processes in post-Soviet countries and has long sought to divide the Russian World

MOSCOW, December 22. /TASS/. Russia seeks to end the conflict in Ukraine as soon as possible but Kiev needs to realize that a diplomatic solution is inevitable, Russian President Vladimir Putin told reporters on Thursday.

He also slammed the supply of US-made Patriot missiles to Kiev as an attempt to prolong the conflict and added that Russia had lived through the year "quite steadily." TASS has collected the key remarks that Putin made.

The year’s results

Perfect situations exist only on paper but Russia made it through the year "quite steadily." The current situation does not prevent the country from implementing its plans for the future. All goals will undoubtedly be achieved.

The special military operation was a forced measure.

The Russian economy is performing better than many G-20 countries and there are no troubling indicators.

On State of the Nation Address

The president will deliver his State of the Nation Address to the Federal Assembly early next year: "I won’t give you any dates but we will definitely do it next year."

The rapidly changing situation, which makes it difficult to speak about specific things, is one of the reasons why there was no address this year. The key points that could have made it into the address were touched upon in other speeches.

On US role in Ukraine situation

Putin noted that Washington has long been involved in processes in post-Soviet countries and has long sought to divide the Russian World.

Russia was being "led around by the nose" in terms of resolving the situation in Ukraine since 2014 and Moscow’s opponents achieved their goal, to a certain extent, dividing the two countries' people and setting them against each other. Moscow failed there. "No one wants the Russian people to unite. <...> But we will try to achieve this and we will succeed."

On Patriot supplies to Kiev

The Patriot missile systems that the US has promised to provide to Ukraine are quite old systems and don’t work the way Russia’s S-300 systems do. An antidote to them will be found and "we will crack Patriot missiles, too." "It is nothing but an attempt to prolong the conflict, that’s all."

On the possible protraction of conflict

Russia does not want to escalate the conflict in Ukraine but seeks to end the war that broke out there in 2014. The sooner the conflict ends, the better. A rise in military activities will lead to unnecessary losses.

On Western and Russian defense industries

Western countries aren’t about to run out of their resources but the stockpiles of weapons left over from the Soviet era are definitely running low. It will not be easy for Ukraine to shift to NATO weapons.

Russia is using its stock of weapons but the Ukrainian military-industrial complex is "if not completely zeroed out, then rapidly moving in that direction."

Russia is capable of increasing weapons production but the authorities don’t plan to do that at the expense of other sectors of the economy.

On diplomatic solution to Ukraine issue

Moscow has never refused to hold talks with Kiev and it was the Ukrainian leadership that barred itself from negotiating. All conflicts end diplomatically and the sooner the Ukrainian authorities realize this, the better.

On meeting with ‘business captains’

There was no traditional meeting with Russia’s ‘business captains’ ahead of the holiday season due to the epidemiological situation. However, the president maintains contact with key entrepreneurs.

On response to price caps

A decree on Moscow’s response to the price cap on Russian oil will be signed "on Monday or Tuesday." The price cap itself won’t harm Russia but it paves the way for the destruction of the global economy.

The European Union’s move to cap gas prices will also lead to nothing good. If the decision affects Gazprom’s contracts, the need will arise to think about whether it is worth it to implement them.

On Nord Stream explosions

The explosions that hit the Nord Stream gas pipelines were acts of state terrorism as no individuals could have done that. Those who are interested in continuing the transit of Russian gas via Ukraine are behind the terrorist attack.

On plans for New Year’s Eve

The head of state will try to celebrate the New Year with his family members.