The World in 2:00 – December 17, 2015

The World in 2:00 – December 17, 2015

By Luke Vargas   
Published

Vladimir Putin holds his yearly press conference and is pressed on Russian involvement in Ukraine and the state of the economy.

Here to present “The World in 2:00,” I’m your host Luke Vargas for Talk Media News in Boston, Massachusetts.

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Vladimir Putin has held his yearly press conference, and while he did acknowledge Donald Trump as the man to beat for the GOP nomination, his comments about Russia were more significant.

For the first time, he copped to the presence of Russian military personnel in Ukraine, saying that, “we never said there were no people there who were carrying out certain tasks including in the military sphere.”

But he said that shouldn’t be construed as an admission of there being Russian regular troops in Ukraine, and he encouraged journalists and the republic to, “feel the difference.”

Putin also had a lively encounter with a Russian journalist about the increasing cost of recent military engagements.

The journalist, Vyacheslav Terekhov of Interfax introduces himself and notes the “significant expansion of the military presence in the conflict zone in Syria.”

But Putin jumps in, saying, “there you go again about Syria. Ask me about the national economy.”

Terekhov proceeds to weave together Syria and the failing Russian economy, citing ongoing sanctions, falling oil prices, and asks if Russia has enough resources.

Putin cuts in again, enough resources for what?

“For military operations, the expansion of its military presence, for survival,” the journalist says.

In his eventual answer, Putin said Russia didn’t start the Syrian war, but we did acknowledge the larger consequences of the country’s military footing.

His roadmap to a turnaround? Simple.

Replace imports, “modernise [the] economy, enhance labour productivity, improve the business climate and ensure effective public demand.”

And if that sounds like a lot, Putin said not to worry:

“We know what needs to be done and we know how to do it,”

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