Feb 17, 2021
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Putin is waiting for nettle soup on the way

Photo: Russian President Vladimir Putin

In the photo: Russian President Vladimir Putin (Photo: Mikhail Klimentyev / Press Service of the President of the Russian Federation / TASS)

In February of this year, the traditional message of the Russian president Vladimir Putin The Federal Assembly will definitely not sound. This, in particular, in an interview with media representatives, said the press secretary of the head of state Dmitry Peskov

“There were no plans for February, while the date has not yet been determined, as soon as we decide, we will inform about it,” he replied to a request from journalists to comment on emerging reports about the alleged postponement of the date of this event from February to a later date. At the same time, the information that the president is scheduled to meet with the leaders of parliamentary factions on February 17 was confirmed by him.

It is worth noting that from the current message of Vladimir Putin to the Federal Assembly, almost all analysts expect theses on direct social support of the population. Information has already appeared in the information space about the allocation of 0.5% of GDP to support families with children, as well as solving problems with demography and increased unemployment, specifically in monetary terms, there was talk about the allocation of 580 billion budget rubles. However, while the officials do not allow such expenses, but at the same time, they do not formally refute them. Which, according to some experts, means only one thing – the control figures and proposals that should be included in the message are still being polished.

Considering the fact that in the current situation, Vladimir Putin’s announcement of such measures could significantly stabilize the Russian society, which is increasingly worried about economic problems, it is not entirely clear why the Kremlin is delaying determining this date, especially since earlier the same Dmitry Peskov stated – The head of state can address the Federal Assembly with a message in early 2021.

One gets the feeling that the presidential administration seems to be waiting for some fateful event that will never happen. If the message had been scheduled for November-December, as was the case from 2008 to 2016, or even January, as it was last year, it would be logical to assume that the uncertainty of the results of the presidential race in America hinders the appeal to the Federal Assembly as the guarantor of the Constitution. … But the local presidential elections have already passed, and America’s course towards Russia is already clear. So why is the president hesitating?

– I think, here, first of all, pragmatic intentions related to the coronavirus pandemic are at the forefront, – suggested Head of the Center for Settlement of Social Conflicts Oleg Ivanov… – Judge for yourself, both chambers of the parliament of the Russian Federation plus a few dozen or even hundreds of other political, state and public figures are about a thousand people. Collecting them in one room is a rather dangerous event, especially when you consider that among the deputies there are elderly people for whom the coronavirus is deadly.

In addition, the president is quite actively involved in the information agenda, meets with members of the government, with journalists and media editors. And in the course of this process, some points that could have sounded during the announcement of the message to the Federal Assembly, in principle, are thrown into the media space right now.

– This year, like 2018, when the President’s message to the Federal Assembly sounded in March, is elective, – the political scientist voiced another assumption Konstantin Kalachev. – And in this regard, the current message of the President to the Federal Assembly will become a formal entry point into the election race. This is the first thing.

And, secondly, the agenda is changing quite quickly, plus everything in the last month and a half was formed not by the authorities, but by the opposition. It is quite obvious that in this light, the authorities have to situationally react to what is happening, including postponing [оглашение послания президента Федеральному собранию]… Because from the point of view of its content, it should reflect not only the long-term and medium-term prospects of the country, but also issues on the current agenda.

After all, since this message traditionally serves as a kind of psychotherapy, it just needs to have some good news. For example, about the victory over the coronavirus, about the launch of the second vaccine into circulation, and so on. And for this, the right time and the right tone must be chosen. Consequently, one way or another, but the message will sound when, apparently, there will be an opportunity through it to influence the social well-being of the country, and all the echoes of the latest “battles” with the opposition will smoothly fade away.

“SP”: – It turns out that at the current moment of time the president has no opportunity to have a beneficial effect on the Russian society through his message to the Federal Assembly?

– I think it still exists, the whole question, in my opinion, is only when it will be most appropriate, when the expansion of social optimism will be timely. Right now, right after the sensational protest actions, what kind of expansion of social optimism can we talk about? But a little later everything will calm down, settle down, subside.

Probably, by that time, some popular proposals will be formed, on which the election campaign will actually be based. Because the image of an external enemy alone and conversations about foreign intervention and calls for consolidation clearly cannot be fooled. Need, I repeat, good news. And what happened in our streets in January, I think, came as a surprise to the authorities, so they just need time to come to their senses and form their own positive agenda through which to convince the public that in our country, speaking by -simple, all the way.

“SP”: – Postponing the date of the announcement of the President’s message to the Federal Assembly, will the authorities be late with the broadcast of the positive agenda, given that every day there is less and less time before the fateful elections at this stage?

– I do not think so. Spring, you know, in itself already cheers people up. And here is a story about the elections, a holiday. Already now there is information in social networks that the ratings of the authorities and the president are creeping up.

Offhand now, however, I will not say exactly who and what specifically intended there, but I will note that with the end of winter and the beginning of spring, many people end up with depression. Optimism is growing in anticipation of spring, summer, when it will be possible to cook nettle soups. I think many factors are taken into account [в определении конкретной даты оглашения Федерального послания], including psychological.

Why aggravate the situation by talking about problems when it is necessary to talk about ways to solve them, especially since the upcoming elections in September this year automatically mean the distribution of, as they say, gingerbread, elephants and gifts. So let’s see what kind of gingerbread.

“SP”: – Will not the opposition, which recently took to the streets, take advantage of the situation with the postponement of the date of the announcement of the Federal Message to a later date? Shouldn’t we expect some kind of provocation from her on the eve or even on the very day of this event?

“As practice shows, the President’s message to the Federal Assembly has never interested the non-systemic opposition,” stated Oleg Ivanov. – It was never for her any important reason for performances or any other actions. So I don’t think it’s possible.

I suppose the president just wants to take a pause to analyze what is happening in more detail. And this, by and large, is his right, since he could be guided not by the atmosphere in society, but by his inner, psychological atmosphere.

“SP”: – And how long can this pause last? When can the message be heard?

– I think that all important speeches or messages the president always organized and announced in a very timely manner. I think it will be the same now, and I fully admit that the message to the Federal Assembly may sound in April, or even before the May holidays. If we consider it as an official signal for the start of the election campaign, the second half of spring will be very useful for this.

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