Russian President, Vladimir Putin on Wednesday, April 8, 2020, appealed Russians to join hands together to fight the highly contagious coronavirus epidemic and asserted that the next few weeks would be significant for the country as the virus outbreak was expected to get worse. Putin compared Russia’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic to its historical battles against medieval invaders and he reminded people that the country defeated these invasions.
Putin’s Economic Strategy
Addressing in a televised meeting with regional leaders and the government, Putin has highlighted key policies to convene economic rescue of the country. Putin, who advocated to keep functioning of the economy despite the virus impact, was speaking about several preventive measures of the COVID-19 after updated official data showed a record rise in the number of the virus-infected cases to 8,672, while deaths increased by five to 63.
Putin has introduced new economic policies to prevent the further deterioration of the country’s financial situation and support both businesses and workers of the country. The new economic policies included tax breaks for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and extra support for the unemployed workers due to the effects of the coronavirus outbreak.
Russian President cited, “The next two-three weeks will be decisive for how the situation develops. It’s a period that will demand the absolute concentration of our resources and the strictest observance of doctors’ recommendations and preventative measures,”
Keeping the view on restoring the economy, Putin said, “We cannot stop the economy, shut down cargo and passenger traffic between regions, or massively limit the work of businesses.” He added, “You and I must understand what kind of damage, what destructive consequences, this could lead to.”
Coronavirus as Medieval Invasions
Putin has reminded the people of the country that Russia fought many battles during medieval times against foreign invaders for instance, the invasion of Turkic nomads in the 11th and 12th centuries. Comparing coronavirus spread in Russia as a medieval invasion, Putin promised, “We will defeat this coronavirus infection. Together we will overcome everything.” He added, “Everything passes and this will pass. Our country has been through serious tests more than once: when tormented by the Pechenegs and the Cumans, Russia coped with everything.”
Earlier, Putin has given instructions to all regional governors to formulate emergency measures for fighting the virus outbreak to their own territories. Moscow Mayor, Sergei Sobyanin has assumed more responsibilities since the capital witnessed more infected cases than any other parts of the country.
As part of his rescue strategy, Putin urged both the government and central bank to prepare an additional business support programs in five days and said social contributions for SMEs would be halved and all their taxes, except VAT, deferred for six months. Moreover, he also proposed additional child benefit payments and to extend unemployment benefit payments to those who had lost jobs during economic turmoil caused by the virus outbreak.
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