Putin reviews 2021 in longest-ever New Year address

The President praised the Russian people’s solidarity in the face of the pandemic and focused on traditional family values

Russians encountered “colossal challenges” in 2021 but managed to cope with them through staying united, President Vladimir Putin said in his traditional New Year address to the nation. Here are the key points from his speech.

New Year’s Eve is the main family-gathering event in Russia during the winter holiday season, and many Russians were tuning in across the country’s 11 time zones to watch the president’s TV address right before Moscow’s Spasskaya Tower clock symbolically strikes midnight. Lasting six minutes and 22 seconds, this year’s address was Putin’s longest NYE speech to date. That included him addressing the Covid-19 pandemic, which has claimed more than 300,000 lives in the country, according to the official data.

Putin cautious on ‘pleasant change’ in 2022
There is “hope for a pleasant change” in 2022, but it can’t be separated from the events of the past year, the Russian President said, as he appeared on screens across the country just minutes before midnight on Friday. The Covid-19 pandemic “is still to subside,” Putin said, without offering any predictions on when the global coronavirus crisis will end. The disease has taken “tens of thousands of lives,” Putin pointed out, as he offered words of support to all those who’ve lost loved ones to the disease.

Russians came out on top because they stayed united, Putin says
Despite “numerous problems” that “remain unsolved,” the president stayed positive on how Russia has handled the pandemic, saying the year’s results were “commendable.” Russia managed to “quickly restore the economy,” and is “now starting to tackle strategic development tasks,” Putin noted. He argued that this became possible largely thanks to the collective effort of the Russian citizens, adding that “the most important thing is that we fought the challenges of this year together.” We have been met with colossal challenges, but we have learned to live in these harsh conditions, to solve difficult problems. We have managed to do so thanks to our solidarity.

Putin names Russia’s ‘fundamental values’
Supporting “older people and families with children, who are the future of Russia” was among the top priorities of the Russian government in the pandemic year, Putin said. He then doubled down on what he sees as the most cherished values and life goals for Russian families: having children, caring for parents, “being in love” and close to the loved ones. “All of these are fundamental values; they are the greatest things any of us have in our lives,” Putin said.

I wish that every family has more happy events, that more families are created, that more children are born and that they grow up to be healthy, smart, honest and free

According to Putin, the Russian government’s goal for 2022 is working “for the nation to live better. This will make Russia even stronger.”

Putin says Russia protected its interests and security

The Russian president addressed the nation hours after speaking with his US counterpart, Joe Biden, on the phone and, although the two leaders complimented each other with holiday greetings, there was also some tough talk involved. Putin warned Biden on Thursday night that an escalation of the US sanctions policy against Russia would lead to “a complete breakdown of relations,” causing further problems to the collective West. However, Moscow hopes to prevent the crisis by securing certain security guarantees from the US-led NATO bloc, and this will be a top item on the agenda at the Russian-US talks in Geneva on January 10, focused on the situation in Ukraine. Congratulating all Russians on starting a New Year and offering his best wishes, Putin didn’t fail to mention the foreign policy tug-of-war.

We consistently promoted our interests, and the security of our country and our people.

Original Article: https://www.rt.com/russia/544905-putin-address-new-year-2022/

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