All news

Key statements of Vladimir Putin's tenth annual press conference

Russia’s tough position on crisis situations should make it clear to counterparts that common security space is necessary

Russian President Vladimir Putin gave his tenth annual press conference on Thursday. The president answered questions on the situation in Ukraine, the economical situation in Russia, new projects in the sphere of Russia's oil and gas export, NATO expansion and many more acute issues.

{history:5860:'Read also':'right':'50'}On the conflict in eastern Ukraine

The press conference was attended by journalists from countries all over the world, including Ukraine. A Ukrainian journalist asked about the situation in eastern Ukraine and alleged participation of Russia in the combat actions in the conflict region. Vladimir Putin answered that those Russians who are taking part in combat operations in the south-east of Ukraine as volunteers are not mercenaries, because they are not paid for it. Vladimir Putin said the military operation in Ukraine's east is indeed a punitive one. Russia is ready to mediate the Ukrainian conflict settlement, according to the president. Crisis in Ukraine should be settled by political means only, not by military means or by a blockade, Putin stressed. He reminded that the tenth humanitarian convoy is on the way to eastern Ukraine. The president of Ukraine wants to resolve the crisis in Ukraine, but he's not the only one, Vladimir Putin said, adding he was one of the people initiating the Minsk agreements.

Vladimir Putin said he thinks prisoners of war in Ukraine should be exchanged 'all for all'. The problem, according to the president, is that the lists of prisoners include innocent people that weren't involved in the conflict.