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Vladimir Putin Set to Deliver State of the Nation Address Amid Significant Popularity Decline
Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia will deliver his state of the nation address on Feb. 20. It was reported that this would be his first address to the houses of parliament since being re-elected to the presidency for the fourth time.
It was noted that the 66-year-old leader will be delivering his address amid the decline in his popularity. Vladimir Putin had the highest approval rating in 1999 but as years pass by, his rating plummeted due to economic problems. One of the culprits being pinpointed for his falling popularity was his reform of raising the retirement age from 60 to 65.
According to the Moscow Times, a survey carried out by Russia's independent group called the Levada Center revealed that it has discovered that Vladimir Putin’s approval rating dipped to only 64 percent. It was said that this is the president’s lowest rating since five years ago.
Moreover, the survey center divulged that it created a poll in October and it turns out that if an election is held, only 40 percent of the Russians would vote for Vladimir Putin again. At any rate, a well-known political analyst, Aleksey Mukhin, said that he sees the president’s state of the nation address to be filled with mostly positive topics.
Channel News Asia further reported that the majority of Vladimir Putin’s speech will be something that the "people can relate to." In foreign policy, the leader may focus on the issues concerning the country’s space program and solutions to the waste removal problem. The president may also touch on the US’ withdrawal from arms control treaty signed by Moscow and Washington.
Finally, it was predicted that Vladimir Putin will also mention the crisis in Venezuela after Russia stood by its ally President Nicolas Maduro and accused the West of "destructive interference." It is also likely that the leader will talk about how the Russian army played its part in the success of Syrian President’s Bashar al-Assad’s battle in recovering most of the country's territory from the jihadists and rebels.