After his government imposed some of the world’s harshest measures to suppress the spread of coronavirus last spring, Vladimir Putin made it clear on Thursday that there are no plans in place for a repeat lockdown this winter.

Speaking remotely to an audience at VTB Bank’s ‘Russia Calling’ event in Moscow, on the day the country posted its highest one-day total for new infections (17,717) since the pandemic began, the president said the economy must be protected. He pointed out that Russia, unlike some other European countries, has nobody to beg for money in the event of a financial crisis.

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“We do not plan to introduce restrictive measures across the board, or launch a so-called ‘nation-wide lockdown,’ when the economy, the operation of business is actually halted completely,” the president said. “Despite the challenging epidemiological situation, we are much better prepared now to work in the epidemic environment.”

Putin has previously mentioned concerns about mental health in the event of another hard lockdown. Meanwhile, many experts in Moscow have pointed out that an economic collapse is far more dangerous than Covid-19, something most Russians experienced firsthand in the years after the Soviet Union imploded. (RT)