Putin: Russia May Defeat Coronavirus in Less Than 3 Months

Remigio Civitarese
Marzo 27, 2020

Furthermore, Putin said Russian Federation would tax interest payments on deposits of more than 1 million rubles, a measure he said should help allocate additional funds to fight the economic impact of coronavirus.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has proposed at a Group of 20 (G20) video conference that a freeze be placed on economic sanctions to allow countries to better combat the coronavirus pandemic that has infected more than 500,000 worldwide and killed almost 23,000 people.

"Health, life and safety of the people is an absolute priority for us", Putin said. "Then this period will be reduced", Putin said in televised comments.

Speaking in a live television broadcast on March 25, Putin said a new date for balloting will be determined based on the recommendations of health experts. The proposed changes include scrapping a ban on allowing Mr Putin to run for office again.

But, as the number of coronavirus cases in Russian Federation climbed to 658, Mr Putin was seen touring a hospital on the outskirts of Moscow.

Putin also promised debt relief for people diagnosed with coronavirus, support for unemployed people, additional benefits for families with small children, a tax holiday for small businesses and a moratorium on some bankruptcies. In many countries the number of cases is continuing to grow - the whole world economy is under threat'. The new measure would reset his term count, allowing him to run for two more six-year terms if he chooses. It hinges on whether Mr Putin, who is serving his fourth presidential term and has dominated Russian politics for two decades, has the right to serve two more consecutive terms.

Earlier this week, Moscow's mayor Sergei Sobyanin told Mr Putin the scale of the problem was far worse than officially recorded.

Sobyanin said the rate of coronavirus growth was high, "a serious situation is developing" and the healthcare system may be overwhelmed at the virus's peak.

Previously, Russian officials had urged people to avoid panic. But things have changed in the past 48 hours, particularly after the number of cases in the country spiked by a third Wednesday, from 495 to 658. Putin did not mention how much his new measures would cost the budget, which is expected to see a 3 trillion rouble shortfall this year from the weak commodity prices only. One death has been attributed to the disease.

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