At the last Q & A, exactly one year ago, Edward Snowden asked Putin about Russian spying. (Putin didn't really answer)
Snowden was criticized at the time by Russian investigative journalist Andrei Soldatov. The Russian intelligence services expert has more recently been critical of Snowden's refusal to speak with him directly.
Russian state TV is preparing for today's Q and A with an "epic" trailer.
Best part here.
Beginning. The host starts by saying that despite everything, the "Index of happiness" in Russia has increased.
Putin begins by giving list of successes and failures:
Positives: stock exchange growing; inflation has steadied; economy growing; manufacturing up; oil production at record high; big harvest
-Problems: Direct investment down, but housing construction really good -- there's a record amount in fact. Even the Soviet Union couldn't match these figures. "These are stunning figures."
-Unemployment up, but growth of it limited.
-Inflation 11.4, but in March it went down three-fold.
Putin on sanctions:
I did say "it's highly unlikely that sanctions will be lifted anytime soon." Our partners "want to restrain our growth," but it has nothing to do with the conflict in Ukraine. We've done everything to implement Minsk agreement.
The host had said, he presented a "rosy picture" of the economic situation in Russia. Putin didn't really like the question.