Putin expresses his vision of the world and his role in history
not indifferent about Russia's future, or what kind of person
will be ruling the state. I have devoted my entire life to these
Vladimir Putin gave an interview to Dutch journalists yesterday.
The first questions, which Western journalists ask President Putin
traditionally, are connected with the now-jailed former head of
the Russian oil giant Yukos, Mikhail Khodorkovsky.
if it was possible to have a different outcome of the notorious
Yukos case, Putin answered that the people standing back from
the state bring only damage to both their citizens and the foreign
investors, who try to work in the Russian economy. Putin particularly
emphasised the fact that the court issued its decision on the
case: "There is nothing good about it. It is quite sad on
the one hand. However, if the law is being broken, the state must
react accordingly within the framework of existent legislation.
This is not an aspect of destabilization. Quite on the contrary,
it is an aspect of stability and power of the state," Putin
the question about the extensive coverage and vivid reaction,
which the Yukos case received in Europe, Putin said: "If
you could make a fortune of five or six billion dollars just in
several years, I am sure that you would be able to cause a similar
reaction too, trying to protect your own interests in Europe and
in the whole world."
topic Vladimir Putin said that he does not think that NATO is
a Russia-unfriendly organization. Russia is willing to establish
partnership with different countries and organizations, including
NATO. "Moscow has developed several directions of cooperation
with NATO. "They include an anti-terrorist struggle, joint
efforts to prevent various states of emergency, etc. We are currently
launching a joint anti-terrorist project in the Mediterranean
Sea with the use of the Russian Navy," Putin said.
president did not say, though, if Russia was ever going to become
a NATO member. "This organization has been undergoing certain
internal transformations. We need to understand what we are going
to join, if it happens in reality, and which objectives we will
have. As for its own security, Russia has been an independent
state historically, capable of defending itself alone," the
In the interview
Putin excluded an opportunity for Russia to break up. "I
never wake up with this idea. I exclude it entirely," the
president said. When asked about his abilities to govern such
a large country as Russia, Vladimir Putin answered that the efficiency
of statesmanship does not depend on the size of a country. "The
geographical size of a country certainly influences the form of
its government. However, the history of mankind and the present
day of many large powers shows that the forms of administration
of large states can be efficient," said Putin.
It is well
known now that Putin prefers not to talk about his own plans at
the end of his second presidential term in Russia. When Dutch
reporters asked the president about his plans after the year 2008,
Vladimir Putin simply said: "Every normal human being has
plans. I cannot imagine a person without plans," said he.
Putin added that talking about the future was not considered a
good tradition in Russia: "It will depend on how we live
and what we do today," the Russian president said.
about the current terrorist activities in Russia and abroad, Vladimir
Putin compared Shamil Basayev and Osama bin Laden to rats, who
prefer to hide and save their lives, setting up their followers.
When one of the journalists asked Putin why Shamil Basayev was
still free, Putin responded with a counter-question: "And
why cannot they capture Bin Laden then? Because such people as
Basayev and Bin Laden hide like rats and make their followers
that there were other terrorists in Chechnya, beside Basayev:
"A lot of them have been liquidated, many took the side of
their nation and the federal forces and started working in governmental
agencies of Chechnya," the president said.
about his opinion regarding the actions of the Russian troops
during the recent terrorist attack on the city of Nalchik (in
Russia's south, close to Chechnya), Putin said that the results
of those actions could speak for themselves: "According to
our estimates, the terrorist group, which attacked Nalchik, counted
about 150 gunmen. Ninety-three of them have been killed and 40
arrested," Putin said.
the problem of terrorism on the whole, Vladimir Putin reminded
that Russia was one of the first countries to face terrorism on
its territory. It happened as a result of the break up of the
Soviet Union, the general weakening of the state, the collapse
of the national economy and the social sphere. "However,
terrorists will never be able to defeat the nation, which helped
to destroy Nazism. First and foremost, the inner sense of self-protection
is extremely strong with Russians and other people of Russia,"
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