RFERL: Putin Warns Of Risk Of Nuclear War, Talks Up Russian Economy In Annual Press Conference

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned that the risk of a catastrophic nuclear conflict should not be underestimated and criticized the United States for abandoning Cold War-era arms treaties, while casting his country’s economy in a positive light but calling for improvements.

Putin had plenty of harsh words for the West and for Ukraine’s government in the press conference on December 20, an annual event he uses to burnish his image, reassure Russians that they are in good hands, and send signals to the United States and the rest of the world.

The televised press conference, which lasted three hours and 44 minutes, was held at a time when tensions with the United States, the European Union, and NATO are high and his ratings at home have fallen early in a six-year fourth term that could be his last stint in the Kremlin.

Source – RFERL