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We are not seeking enemies - Putin

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By Catherine Hardy  with Sputnik, Tass, RT
We are not seeking enemies - Putin

<p><br /> <br /> </p> <p>Russian President Vladimir Putin has given his highly-anticipated annual address to the country’s Federal Assembly.</p> <p>Putin said he was ready to work together with US president-elect Donald Trump on an “equal” basis.</p> <p>“I am counting on joining forces with the United States in the fight with the real, not made-up, threat of international terrorism”, he noted. He also stressed that Russia was looking to make friends, not enemies.</p> <p>In a speech largely devoted to domestic issues, he suggested that there were signs that economic declines were levelling out and expressed a desire to continue to fight corruption.</p> <br /> <br /> <h3><strong>Why does the president do this?</strong></h3> <br /> <br /> <p>The annual state-of-the-union-style address will be the 23rd event of its kind in Russia’s modern history.</p> <p>It is the 13th speech delivered by Vladimir Putin.</p> <p>The president’s annual address has become a tradition after Boris Yeltsin first delivered it in 1994.</p> <p>By tradition, it is be given in the St George Palace of the Kremlin.</p> <p>According to the Russian constitution, the country’s leader is obliged to inform the Federal Assembly once a year about the current state of the country.</p> <p>It is his constitutional duty to give an evaluation of the current state of affairs in the country and identify key domestic and foreign policy objectives.</p> <br /> <br /> <h3><strong>What does the speech usually focus on?</strong></h3> <br /> <br /> <p>The most important domestic issues.</p> <p>However, foreign policy has come up during previous years.</p> <br /> <br /> <h3><strong>Who was there?</strong></h3> <br /> <br /> <p>Lawmakers from both chambers.</p> <p>The gathering is also attended by high representatives from Russia’s judiciary, the Public Chamber, the Audit Chamber and representatives of the Church.</p> <p>There were also be 500 journalists attending, according to the <span class="caps">TASS</span> news agency.</p> <br /> <br /> <h3><strong>Predictions</strong></h3> <br /> <br /> <p>The president’s spokesman was vague about what exactly Vladimir Putin will touch on.</p> <p>“Addresses by the president to the Federal Assembly are a traditional format, but no speech is like any other, so, of course, this year it will be completely different in terms of content, yet keeping a Putin-style main core,” <strong>Peskov</strong> told journalists.</p> <p>As a result, there were various predictions about topics:</p> <br /> <ul> <li>The Russian economy</li> <li>The Syrian crisis</li> <li>Russia’s Trump-era relations with the US</li> </ul> <br /> <br /> <h3><strong>What Putin said</strong></h3> <br /> <br /> <p>After speaking for an hour on domestic policy, Putin turned to focus on foreign policy.</p> <p>“We hope to join efforts with the United States in the fight against a real rather than dreamt up threat – global terrorism,” he said.</p> <p>He added that Russia would stand up for its own interests abroad but had no intention of getting involved in any geopolitical confrontations – despite the continued involvement in the conflict in Syria and over Ukraine. </p> <p>In an apparent call for calm, Putin said: “We are not seeking and have never sought enemies. We need friends.”</p> <br /> <br /> <h3><strong>What they were saying</strong></h3> <br /> <br /> <p>“I think the president will pay serious attention to the issue of overcoming the financial crisis, the subject of the development of Russia’s economy,” – <strong>Andrey Isaev</strong>, deputy chief of the parliamentary faction of the governing United Russia Party.</p> <p>“I think our position towards the US and the EU will also be voiced. Perhaps we will also hear comments and suggestions for constructive cooperation with Western partners,” – <strong>Vladimir Dzhabarov</strong>, first deputy chief of the Russian Federal Council’s Foreign Affairs Committee.</p> <br /> <br />