President Vladimir Putin spoke at the plenary session of the EEF (Eastern Economic Forum), which took place at the Far Eastern Federal University. During the forum, Putin answered a few questions related to domestic and foreign policies.
According to Putin, he will be "sorry" to let Defense Minister Sergei Shoygu and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov go to the State Duma.
"They work well at their jobs. My colleagues simply turned to me with a request that they top the list to demonstrate that everything that the United Russia party does is really being implemented, including through the efforts of these people," Putin said.
Shoigu and Lavrov rank first and second on the United Russia party list, respectively. "It is up to them to make their own choice," Putin said replying to the question about when the final decision about the ministers is going to be made.
Putin did not respond to the question about his plans for the future. In particular, the forum moderator wondered whether Putin was going to attend the APEC summit, which is to be held in November 2024 – after the next Russian presidential elections.
“One needs to live up to 2024. There are pandemics attacking us from different directions. One needs to work, rather than think about such major international events that are to take place [in a few years], ”Putin said.
Vladimir Putin described the events in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of US troops as a "catastrophe."
"These are not my words. These are the words from the mouths of US analysts. This is a catastrophe, because the Americans – they are very pragmatic people – have spent over one and a half trillion dollars on this entire campaign, and what is the result of it? And if you look at the number of people who were abandoned in Afghanistan, who worked for countries of the West, for the United States and its allies, then this is a humanitarian catastrophe," Putin said.
At the same time, Putin said that the countries of the region should join forces to resolve the issue of legalizing political forces inside Afghanistan, while looking at what is happening in real life. This is necessary to do in order to effectively counter terrorism, fight the spread of drugs and crime, Putin noted.
It is too early to speak about a possibility for Russia to host the 2036 Summer Olympics in Vladivostok, the president said, since “everything needs to be calculated”. However, he did not rule out such a possibility:
"We do not exclude a possibility of holding the Olympic Games in the Russian Federation, and the Far East, the city of Vladivostok, is one of the prospective sites," the president said.
The Mayor of Vladivostok, Konstantin Shestakov, announced that Vladivostok would bid for the title of the hosting city for the Olympic Games in 2036.