Putin's address to Russia's parliament


  • World
  • Thursday, 29 Feb 2024

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers his annual address to the Federal Assembly, in Moscow, Russia, February 29, 2024. REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina

MOSCOW (Reuters) -President Vladimir Putin delivered his annual state-of-the-nation address on Thursday to Russia's elite, updating them on the war in Ukraine, its nuclear capabilities, and its relationship to the West.

The speech comes two weeks ahead of a presidential election, in which Putin is expected to win another six-year term in a landslide.

Here are highlights from his speech, which was delivered to members of both houses of parliament, state officials, military commanders and soldiers.

ON THE WAR IN UKRAINE

"Today, when our homeland is defending its sovereignty and security and protecting the lives of our fellow countrymen in Donbas and Novorossiya (regions of Ukraine that Russia claims to have annexed), the decisive role in this righteous struggle belongs to our citizens, our unity, devotion to our native country and responsibility for its fate."

"These qualities were clearly and unambiguously manifested at the very beginning of the special military operation, when it was supported by the absolute majority of the Russian people. Despite all the trials and bitterness of losses, people are adamant in this choice."

ON THE ARMS RACE

"We understand that the West is trying to drag us into an arms race. They are trying to wear us down, to repeat the trick they succeeded (in pulling off) with the Soviet Union in the 1980s.

"Therefore, our task is to develop the defence-industrial complex in such a way as to increase the scientific, technological and industrial potential of the country."

"We need to distribute resources as rationally as possible and build an efficient economy of the armed forces, to achieve the maximum for every rouble of defence expenditures."

(Reporting by ReutersCompiled by Lucy PapachristouEditing by Gareth Jones)

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