More from President Putin's Interview with Western Press

4 de junio de 2007

<body><div id="article"><tr><td height="23" valign="middle" width="184"></td><td valign="middle" width="185"></td></tr><h1>More from President Putin's Interview with Western Press</h1><p>June 4, 2007 (LPAC)--In addition to three separate reports elsewhere on this website, Russian President Vladimir Putin also made the following remarks to a selected group of western journalists (from a transcript printed June 4, 2007 in the Toronto Globe and Mail):</p><p> <strong>QUESTION:</strong> Russia doesn't seem to like the west very much any more.... Are we moving towards a cold war again?</p><p> <strong>Mr. Putin:</strong> In international affairs and in the relations between the states, one can hardly be using any terminology which would be appropriate in the relations between people, especially during the honeymoon or just before a man and a woman plan on going to church to register their marriage.</p><p>So in the relations between the states, always throughout history, the key principle was the observance of interests, and the more civilized the relations have been, the more clear it was that the interests of the country should be correlated with the interests of other countries, and compromise is to be found when resolving even the most complex issues....</p><p>Some of the participants of the international dialogue believe that their ideas are the ultimate truth, their interests are the ultimate truth. This of course does not facilitate the creation of an atmosphere of trust and confidence.... Some crises which the international community has had to face would not have [happened if people had sought compromise instead of having this approach] ....</p><p> <strong>Q:</strong> Relations with West are [fast deteriorating] .... don't you agree that the position you're taking now is the route to nowhere?</p><p> <strong>A:</strong> .... [We have] heard about the low-intensity, low-power nuclear charges [i.e. low-yield nuclear weapons]. We have been warning against that, but that is being developed still. They are saying that this is needed in order to counter bin Laden's hiding somewhere in the cliffs and the rocks.... Why should one be reducing the threshold for the use of nuclear weapons? .... Why should one be placing and deploying nuclear weapons in outer space? But the attitude of our counterparts is, `Who is not with us is against us.' Is that any way of conducting a dialogue? .... Public opinion in Russia is interested in strengthening our security.</p><p>Where have you found that public opinion that we should get fully disarmed and then follow the ideas of [Zbigniew] Brzezinski that we should splinter our territory into four parts? I am the president of the Russian Federation, not to bring our country to the brink of catastrophe; on the contrary. This catastrophe can appear if anything can be done without limitations if one wants....</p><p> <strong>Q:</strong> What actions might you take to reciprocate against the U.S. missile shield?</p><p> <strong>A:</strong> In my view, the public opinion in Russia would be absolutely against a new arms race. The previous arms race in Russia was lost by the Soviet Union.... We have taken into account the experience of the Soviet Union and we are not going to get entangled into the arms race. We're not going to reciprocate actions ... We are going to find other ways. This will be an asymmetric answer.</p><p> <strong>Q:</strong> What have been your key achievements in your presidency from a historic perspective?</p><p> <strong>A:</strong> [Putin described the substantial progress made in Russia, recovering from the disaster of the post-Soviet-era looting. He then spoke of unresolved problems:] one of the biggest would be the disparity of incomes in the population .... countering poverty would be one of the key goals in the future .... the disparity between the poor and the rich [remains a problem]... It is lower than in the United States ...</p><p> <strong>Q:</strong> Is there discrimination against Russian companies for political reasons?</p><p> <strong>A:</strong> ....We are not doing anything to concentrate the volume of property in the hands of the state..., what we want to have is viable solutions and competitive enterprises that would be able to work at the European level.... But at the same time we would like to maintain the industries per se. We know of examples from European countries where countries purchased for one deutschemark a viable enterprise and then simply closed it down in order to eliminate competition....</p></div></body>