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Putin calls on Russia’s rich to put national interest before profit

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday urged wealthy Russians to put national interest before profit, calling on them to invest in the country to shore up the economy in the face of Western sanctions.

In his first major speech to business tycoons since he ordered the deployment of tens of thousands of his country’s soldiers to Ukraine last year, Putin said his role was not limited to making money, but also to help society.

He praised the “high mission” of businessmen who cared for their workers and channeled their talents not only to reap profits, but also for the common good.

Putin said he was eager to hear his views on how to develop the economy to lead to “a significant improvement in the quality of life of people across the country.”

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