Moscow.- Vladimir Putin I affirm that Russia He had “handled the coronavirus pandemic better” than the West, during his annual press conference, held online Thursday from his Novo Ogariovo residence in the Moscow suburbs.
“We can say with certainty that we have faced these problems with dignity. Perhaps better than other countries in the world that are rightly proud of the stability of their economies, the development of their social services and their health systems,” he continued .
According to him, the Russian system “proved to be more effective” than elsewhere, especially in the West.
Russia is the fourth country with the most infections (2.7 million) and accumulates according to official statistics just over 49 thousand deaths, figures that suggest a lower fatality than in Western Europe or in U.Ssomething that Putin has been bragging about for months.
But the Russian statistical agency Rosstat detected in October an excess mortality of 50 thousand deaths in that month compared to the same period of 2019, which casts doubt on the figures provided by the authorities.
The difference would be due to the Russian definition of what constitutes a coronavirus death: the Covid-19 it must be identified as the leading cause of death by autopsy.
A second wave of infections, which began this fall, sets records each week, with a particularly worrying situation in the poorest and often insufficiently equipped regions.
The Russian economy, which was already slowing down several months before the pandemic, also suffered, like everywhere else.
Consumption is falling, unemployment rose 1.6 points to stand at 6.3% and about 20 million Russians are in poverty, that is, more than 13% of the population according to official data.
This situation convinced the Russian authorities to reject a second confinement, betting on the future success of their Sputnik V vaccine.
For Putin, Russia it is also handling the economic issue better than its rivals. “Our GDP fell 3.6%, less than that of any of the large EU countries, less than that of U.S“He congratulated himself.
Finally, he praised the vaccine again Sputnik V, the approval of which he had announced in August, even before large clinical trials began.
The 68-year-old president said Thursday that he will be vaccinated “as soon as possible.”
That vaccine was met with international skepticism in the face of an announcement deemed premature, before the start of large-scale clinical trials in human volunteers and the publication of scientific results.
Vaccination of the Russian population began in early December. Workers at risk, especially those in the education and health sectors, were the first to receive it.