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Putin emphasizes Russia’s domestic challenges as he launches another, and perhaps final, term

2018-05-07 22:31:57       source:The Washington Post

May 7, 2018

MOSCOW — President Vladimir Putin, already the longest serving leader of Russia since Stalin, launched into a fourth presidential term on Monday promising to focus on improving Russians’ lives at home but without backing down in his confrontation with the West.

Putin, in a brief inaugural address to thousands of invited guests at the Kremlin, emphasized the work he has to do at home, nodding to the long-term challenges Russia faces with a stagnant economy and a declining birth rate. He said Russia needed to expand freedoms for entrepreneurs and scientists, to invest in regional development, and to raise the quality of education and health care. A particular focus on “traditional family values,” he said, would ensure as many births as possible.

“Russia is a strong, active, and influential participant in international life,” Putin said. “But now we must use all the means we at our disposal to, first, resolve domestic, most vital challenges of development.”

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