BEST OF THE WEB: Putin to deliver speech on April 21 that will be ‘most important political event’ and ‘message for a new age’

Russian President Vladimir Putin is reportedly preparing to give a major address in which he will fire the starting pistol on a “new era” and set out a different vision for the future of his country as the Covid-19 pandemic wanes. The chairwoman of the Russian Senate, Valentina Matvienko, told reporters on Tuesday that the speech would set out answers to a number of challenges facing the world. “This will be a message for a new age,” she said. “But at the same time, as always, current issues will be addressed, focuses will be defined and direct instructions will be given.” Matvienko added that “in the current difficult environment facing the world, which comes with many obstacles for countries including Russia,” the address would become “the most important political and public event.” Putin is due to speak to the national parliament, encompassing both the Senate and its lower house, the State Duma, on April 21. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov revealed on Monday that the annual…

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