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Falling incomes, rising unemployment, but no disasters Putin’s speech at the 2021 St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, in brief

Source: Meduza

Speaking at the 2021 St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on June 4, President Vladimir Putin sang the praises of Russia’s coronavirus vaccine, addressed rising unemployment and falling incomes in Russia, and denied claims that Russia isn’t concerned about climate change. Meduza summarizes his speech, in brief.

The global economy is recovering, but there are risks to general security. Vaccination is one example. Today, high income countries (16 percent of the world’s population) are receiving half of all vaccines, whereas hundreds of millions of people don’t have access to them — it’s every man for himself. Every adult Russian can get vaccinated for free. The Russian vaccine is the safest and most effective, and there hasn’t been a single fatality. I experienced it myself: I had a low-grade fever, but it offers such good protection! We need to organize paid vaccination for foreigners in Russia by the end of June. The first pipe string of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline was completed today: the pipes just need to be lifted up and welded. A few words about domestic affairs. In Russia, unemployment rose, incomes fell, but no disasters took place. I propose extending the preferential mortgage program for another year — until July 1, 2022, and extend family mortgages to families with at least one child. Already this year, we began issuing loans to small- and medium-sized businesses under SME Corporation guarantees — this will allow entrepreneurs to attract 600 million rubles [approximately $8.2 million] by 2024. They say that Russia isn’t very interested in resolving the problem of global warming. That’s nonsense! We need to build up the forests and invest in their protection in order to improve the well-being of the environment. We are very concerned about this. 

This is a rough summary of Vladimir Putin’s speech at the 2021 SPIEF. First person statements aren’t necessarily verbatim quotes. 

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Cover photo: Sergey Bobylev / TASS

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