President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia stated on Thursday that he had no plans to impose fines or criminally prosecute people hesitant to be vaccinated in opposition to the coronavirus, regardless that Russia has one of many lowest vaccination ranges in Europe.
About 56 p.c of the nation’s inhabitants is inoculated in opposition to the virus, and the federal government has not launched vaccine mandates. Mr. Putin stated at his year-end information convention that such mandates can be counterproductive.
Mr. Putin stated Russians “are inventive people” and due to this fact “whenever you start to push, they find ways to circumvent that.”
“We need to relate to people with respect, despite their positions,” he stated, “and to patiently explain” the necessity to inoculate.
Mr. Putin stated the pandemic has taken a heavy toll. The common life expectancy in the nation has diminished for the primary time in years dropping from 71.5 to 70.1 years, he stated.
Mr. Putin’s marathon year-end information conferences are a longtime custom, meant to show his stamina and authority as he solutions questions for hours on finish. They have additionally been a stage for coverage pronouncements.
He centered on home points just like the economic system and the coronavirus in the early minutes of the information convention, which was being carefully watched due to rising navy tensions in Eastern Europe.
He additionally spoke in stark phrases of these navy tensions, saying that there was discuss of “war, war, war,” however that Moscow was to not blame as a result of it was defending traditionally Russian territories.