A new Russian first lady? Putin hints he may marry again

admin   •   December 21, 2018   •   2415



Russian President Vladimir Putin speaking at an annual news conference about his marriage plans in Moscow, Russia on December 20, 2018 | REUTERS

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday (December 20) he’d probably have to get married again, but did not say to whom.

Putin, 66, who jealously protects his privacy and that of his close family, was replying to a question posed by a reporter at his annual press conference, which focused mainly on international relations and the state of the economy.

“As a respectable person, I will have to do this at some point,” Putin said, smiling.

Putin was married to Lyudmila Putina from 1983 until their divorce, announced in 2013.

Their daughters, Katerina and Maria, both in their early 30s, are not involved in politics and have stayed firmly out of the limelight.

Since he divorced his wife Lyudmila, rumours have swirled around Putin’s personal life. One Russian newspaper report said he was in a relationship with Alina Kabaeva, a former Olympic gymnast, though Putin rejected the assertion.

Reuters reported in 2016 that a businessman with ties to associates of Putin had transferred ownership of properties to Alina Kabaeva’s sister and grandmother. — Reuters

Putin’s candidate for PM says he is ‘ready’ to work

UNTV News   •   January 16, 2020

Russia’s Prime Minister nominee Mikhail Mishustin at State Duma epa08133005 Russian Prime Minister nominee Mikhail Mishustin speaks during a plenary session at the State Duma in Moscow, Russia, 16 January 2020. Russian President Vladimir Putin submitted the candidacy of Russian Federal Taxation Service Head Mikhail Mishustin for the post of Russian Prime Minister after the Russian government resigned on 15 January 2020 following Putin’s address to the federal Assembly. The Russian State Duma is to consider the president’s nomination on 16 January 2020. EPA-EFE/YURI KOCHETKOV

Moscow – Russian prime ministerial candidate Mikhail Mishustin said Thursday he is “ready” to lead the new government as he met with different factions of the Duma (Parliament) that will assess his suitability for the position.

“Yes, I am ready,” the economist and politician, who until now had been the head of the Federal Tax Service of Russia, told reporters, as cited by the Interfax news agency.

Mishustin, 53, was put forward as a candidate to lead the government on Wednesday by President Vladimir Putin after PM Dmitri Medvedev announced the resignation of the entire government following Putin’s announcement of constitutional reforms in his annual state of the nation speech.

The minister of science and higher education, Mikhail Kotjukov, said Thursday at the Gaidar Forum that he had not expected the resignation of the entire government, according to the news official agency TASS.

In a meeting held with the Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR) Mishustin said he would organize the government “in close collaboration with Parliament,” according to party sources, who decided to support the appointment of this Muscovite technocrat, its leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky said.

Mishustin already has the support of the official United Russia party, whose head in the Duma, Sergey Neverov, said Thursday that the candidate announced “changes” in the composition of the government, though he did not reveal which ones.

During the meeting with the Kremlin party, the candidate spoke about national projects and the digital economy among his priorities, as well as institutional and management reforms, in addition to the implementation of modern information technologies within state structures.

Mishustin, who modernized the Federal Tax Service with new technologies, believes that the state “should be a digital platform created for people,” according to Anastasia Kashevarov, an aide to the speaker of the Duma.

The candidate also said national investment projects in different sectors are a tool for boosting growth in the Russian economy and if he is appointed PM he will start by removing barriers to business.

In his talks with the Communist Party of Russia, which will abstain in Thursday’s vote on Putin’s candidate according to party leader Gennady Zyuganov, Mishustin said he would do everything he could to solve poverty issues.

Putin announced Wednesday in his state of the nation speech social support initiatives, such as increasing aid to families with incomes below the existential minimum, a program to modernize the health care system and more scholarships for university students.

The president is on Thursday expected to meet with the members of a working group created to prepare changes to the Russian constitution.

Mishustin, who will have the backing of A Just Russia in the session, heard criticism from some factions of the Duma regarding four ministries: labor, health, education and culture, according to Kashevarov. EFE-EPA


Russia plans to file appeal against Olympic doping ban

UNTV News   •   December 20, 2019

Russian President Vladimir Putin answers questions during his annual life-broadcasted news conference with Russian and foreign media at the World Trade Center in Moscow, Russia, 19 December 2019. EFE/EPA/YURI KOCHETKOV

MOSCOW, RUSSIA – The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (Rusada) announced on Thursday that it plans to appeal a four-year doping ban from international sports competitions.

Rusada rejected the decision by the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada) and recommended to file an arbitration case with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas).

Alexandr Ívlev, head of the Rusada supervisory board, told the local press: “We have made the decision not to accept the decision.”

Ívlev said the supervisory board will send the corresponding recommendation to another panel of Russian sports figures for approval.

A letter will then be prepared on behalf of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who described the sanctions as “unfair” at his annual press conference on Thursday.

Ívlev said: “We will do this within 10-15 days. Then the ball will be in the field of Wada and we will address that matter in the legal field.”

The official said the Russian argument is “quite solid” but refused to speculate on the options for the Cas to rule in Moscow’s favour.

When announcing the sanctions Wada gave Rusada 21 days to accept or reject its ruling and appeal to the Cas.

The head of the Kremlin has said from the outset that Moscow will launch an appeal.

Ívlev said: “Collective punishment is inadmissible for clean athletes.

“We are in constant dialogue with the main sports organizations.

“We have discrepancies on strategies, but Russia is still part of the global sports culture.”

Putin said on Thursday during his annual press conference that Wada’s decision was not one of either “common sense” or “international law”.

“Something like this has never happened in the history of mankind in any legal system and I hope it never happens again,” he added.

The Russian leader, who also described the “collective punishment” as unacceptable said he was convinced Russian athletes will compete under their flag at the Tokyo Olympics, as Wada has no power over the Russian Olympic Committee.

“I think this gives us all the reasons to assume that this decision, unfortunately, has a political character,” he added. EFE-EPA

Russia’s Putin arrives in UAE following visit to Saudi Arabia

Robie de Guzman   •   October 15, 2019

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan (R) attend an official welcome ceremony in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, 15 October 2019. Russian President Vladimir Putin is on a state visit to UAE.

Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on Tuesday (October 15) for talks that are expected to focus on economic ties and security in the Middle East region.

Upon arrival, Putin was greeted by Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan at the airport.

Putin’s trip to the region signals Moscow’s growing Middle East clout.

On Monday (October 14) he visited Saudi Arabia for the first time in over a decade, buoyed by Russian military gains in Syria, strong ties with Riyadh’s regional rivals and energy cooperation. (Reuters)

(Production: Roberto Esparza)


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