3 million questions, few answers, some jokes: Putin faces the public

Russia's head of state, Vladimir Putin, faced the public in an annual call-in television show on Thursday, answering 80 of more than 3 million questions received ahead of the show.

One of the answers he gave was that a female president could be better suited for dealing with social and economic issues.

"We should not think about how to keep America at bay. We should think about domestic problems - roads, healthcare, education and economic growth," Putin said during the nationally televised show.

"Perhaps a woman could handle these problems better than a man," Putin said, according to a transcription by state news agency TASS.

When asked whether he would try to save President Petro Poroshenko of rival Ukraine and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey if they were drowning, Putin quipped: "If someone decides to drown, no one can save him."

But Russia is ready to offer friendship to any politician who deserves it, he said.

Putin offered a glimpse into his personal life, saying he enjoys porridge for breakfast every morning and hinting that he doesn't take medicine.

When asked whether he preferred Russian or foreign-made medicine, Putin joked that he tries not to let it come to that. "I try to stay healthy. I work out."

Putin said a love for porridge comes with age, joking that "the fewer teeth you have, the more you love porridge."

He said he never curses to anyone but himself. "I scold only myself, when I'm unhappy with my own performance," he said, adding that he still has a good relationship with his ex-wife, Lyudmila.

The couple reportedly finalized their divorce in 2014 after three decades of marriage.

Putin said that both he and Lyudmila are happy with their private lives, although he did not want to disclose any intimate details.

He said he does not understand the public's interest in his private life, because it pales in comparison with his role as the head of state.

"Frankly, I do not know how this could influence the national currency or oil prices," he joked.

Last update: Thu, 14/04/2016 - 19:10

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