Vladimir Putin said that Russia’s economy would recover within two years. He did not identify concrete measures but referred to the world’s need for energy increasing again as the global economy recovered and diversification of the economy in the interim.
He blamed “external factors” for problems with the economy and the ruble. Putin described sanctions against Russia as “illegitimate” and said that Saudi Arabia and the US “might” have conspired to lower oil prices to harm Russia (and Iran).
The Russian President said that it was illogical to blame him for current frosty relations with the west. Referring to the number of US military bases around the world and its deployment of anti-ballistic missiles in Europe, he asked how Russia could possibly be seen as the aggressor. He also compared Nato expansion to the Berlin wall.
He repeatedly said that he wanted a diplomatic solution to the crisis in Ukraine. Putin said it must be solved by political means in line with fundamental international principles, including the right of self-determination.