(PresidentialInsider.com)- During a televised government meeting on Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed that the Russian economy was stabilizing despite the economic sanctions imposed in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The Russian president said inflation was slowing down and the weekly rate of price increases was approaching normal levels while prices on some goods were declining.
During the televised meeting, the Russian president was seen coughing repeatedly, leading some to suspect that the rumors of his ill health may be true.
When Valentina Matviyenko, the speaker of the Russian Parliament’s upper house expressed concern for his health during the meeting, Putin reassured officials that he was fine and was tested “practically on a daily basis,” not just for COVID, “but all kinds of other infections.”
Putin, who was seen sitting alone in front of his screen for the online meeting, blamed the cough on the cool temperature in the room and urged officials to get fully vaccinated.
At one point during the meeting, the Russian president became annoyed with the Director of Foreign Intelligence, Sergey Naryshkin.
Naryshkin suggested that they discuss presenting the West with “one last chance.” He said the West should force Kyiv to “choose peace and implement the Minsk agreements.” Naryshkin told Putin that, “in the worst case,” they should decide what they were discussing in Monday’s meeting.
An irritable Putin snapped, “What does it mean, ‘in the worst case?’” He demanded to know if Naryshkin was proposing that Russia begin negotiations “or to recognize sovereignty.”
A stuttering Naryshkin struggled for a response, prompting the Russian president to bark, “Speak, speak, speak plainly!”
Naryshkin expressed his support for the proposal to bring the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine into the Russian Federation.
Still not satisfied with Naryshkin’s response, Putin snapped that they weren’t talking about that; they were talking about recognizing the independence of Donetsk and Luhansk.
A cowed Naryshkin finally responded that he supported the proposal for their independence.