On Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin is holding his traditional call-in session, The Direct Line with President, which was first held during Putin’s first presidential term in 2001.
This time, Vladimir Putin received almost 2 million questions from all over the country and abroad, half of which have been asked via phone calls. About 280,000 Russian citizens addressed their questions to the President through social networks.
In 2017, the main topics of the President’s Direct Line relate to education, health, social issues, and presidential elections of 2018.
Vladimir Putin’s call-in session is broadcast live by Russia’s main TV channels, as well as gets online coverage by online media.
The first question concerned the economic crisis. Vladimir Putin has said that, basing on objective data, it is fair to state that the recession is overcome in Russian economy. At the same time, the President noted that over 13% of Russian citizens live below poverty line.
Mr. Putin named the main achievement in the social sphere: infant and maternal mortality has been significantly reduced. He also noted the record low level of inflation in the country – 4.1%.
Speaking about sanctions, Vladimir Putin said that the sanctions had certainly affected Russian economy, but “not dramatically”. Instead, it is external economic conditions, including falling energy prices, that had ripple effect on the economy.