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Putin's Media Blitz Comes With Economy On Edge

As Russia looks ahead to next autumn's key parliamentary elections, a national economic body has been resurrected in an attempt to kickstart sluggish growth, Moscow daily Vedomosti reports Thursday.

After two years of stasis, Russia's Economic Council Presidium has been revived in order to promote the countrys' economic growth, as well as to look for ways to substitute foreign goods that have been banned from import because of ongoing sanctions against Western countries.

Economics no doubt will be at the heart of September's elections for the Duma. "Potential candidates must choose between their will to enact change and their desire not to do anything," political analyst Mikhail Vinogradov tells the newspaper.

Meanwhile, President Vladimir Putin was engaged in a media blitz on Thursday, answering the nation's most burning questions during a live "Presidential Hotline." Some two million inquiries have been submitted so far, ranging from concerns about Putin's personal life to political and economic reform.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Putin's "Pig-Like" Latvia Threat Is A Chilling Reminder Of What's At Stake In Ukraine

In the Ukraine war, Russia's military spending is as high as ever. Now the West is alarmed because the Kremlin leader is indirectly hinting at a possible attack on Latvia, a NATO member. It is a reminder of a growing danger to Europe.

Photo of Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Pavel Lokshin


BERLIN — Russian President Vladimir Putin sometimes chooses downright bizarre occasions to launch his threats against the West. It was at Monday's meeting of the Russian Human Rights Council, where Putin expressed a new, deep concern. It was not of course about the human rights of the thousands of political prisoners in his own country, but about the Russian population living in neighboring Latvia, which happens to be a NATO member, having to take language tests.

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