MOSCOW – The following are highlights from Russian President Vladimir Putin’s annual phone-in on Wednesday.
Putin spoke in Russian. The quotes below were translated into English by Reuters.
PUTIN ON GETTINGVACCINATEDAGAINSTCOVID-19
“I thought that I needed to be protected as long as possible. So I chose to be vaccinated with Sputnik V. The military is getting vaccinated with Sputnik V, and after all I’m the commander-in-chief.”
“After the first shot, I didn’t feel anything at all. About four hours later, there was some tenderness where I had the shot. I did the second (shot) at mid-day. At midnight, I measured my temperature. It was 37.2 (Celsius). I went to sleep, woke up and my temperature was 36.6. That was it.”
“I don’t support mandatory vaccination, and I continue to hold this point of view.”
PUTIN ON UKRAINIANCOUNTERPARTVOLODYMYRZELENSKIY
“Why should I meet with Zelenskiy if he has given up his country to full external control? Vital issues for Ukraine are not resolved in Kyiv, but in Washington and partly in Berlin and Paris. What is there to discuss? I’m not refusing (to meet him), I just need to understand what to talk about.”