Vladimir Putin gave an interview to the Austrian TV channel ORF - 1BiTv.com

Vladimir Putin gave an interview to the Austrian TV channel ORF

(Automatic translation)


Vladimir Putin gave an interview to the Austrian TV channel ORF

On the eve of the visit to Austria, Russian President Vladimir Putin answered Armin Wolf's questions from the leading Austrian television and radio company ORF.


A. Wolf: Dear Mr. President!

Your first foreign visit takes you to Austria. This is a kind of encouragement for a benevolent policy towards Russia on the part of the Austrian government, which opposes new EU sanctions and did not expel Russian diplomats because of the "case of Skripal"?

Vladimir Putin: It seems to me that such a respected European state as Austria does not need anyone's encouragement. We have a long, very good, deep relationship with Austria. Austria is our traditional and reliable partner in Europe. Despite all the difficulties of the previous years, with Austria, we have never interrupted a dialogue in the sphere of politics, either in the sphere of security or in the field of economy. Over the past year, trade with Austria grew by forty and a half percent. We respect Austria's position and its neutral status. As you know, Russia is one of the guarantors of this status and took part in the preparation of the state contract.

We cooperate in various fields with the Republic of Austria: in the economy, as I said, in the sphere of politics, security, in the economy in a variety of areas. This is not only energy, although I will say more about this right now, this is aircraft construction, aviation security, hydropower. In Russia, more and more Austrian capital is being invested. We regard this as a confidence in the economic policy pursued by the Government of the Russian Federation.

We are carrying out major projects. Thanks to our cooperation, Baumgarten, and therefore Austria, became the largest gas hub in Europe. We have many common and coinciding interests, so we gladly accepted here Mr. Federal Chancellor Kurtz in February this year. It is on the basis of these considerations that my visit to Austria is being prepared and, I hope, will be carried out in the near future.

A. Wolf: In part, the Russian government maintains good relations with some members of the Austrian government. In 2016, United Russia concluded an agreement on partnership with the Free Party of Austria. Why with her?

Vladimir Putin: You have just said that the Russian government maintains good relations with Austria, and continued this analysis on a purely party line.

I was one of the founders of the party "United Russia", but now, as I am the head of the Russian state, I do not belong to the party.

Indeed, the Government of Russia is very specific and quite deeply working with its colleagues in Austria without any political preferences.

We have, to a certain extent, a national consensus on the policy in the Austrian direction, there are no such political forces that would oppose the development of relations with Austria, but at the political level, there can be some preferences on the party level. And the fact that United Russia has established relations with precisely the party you have just mentioned - these are purely party contacts. I am sure that United Russia will gladly develop contacts with other political forces.

A. Wolf: You headed this party for a long time, now it is headed by Medvedev. Many observers believe that the Russian leadership through the party "United Russia" would like to maintain ties with nationalist parties, because they want to divide the European Union. Where do these close ties between the Russian leadership and the parties critical to the European Union come from?

Vladimir Putin: You'd better ask about this, of course, the Chairman of the Government of Russia, Mr. Medvedev, he is the leader of the party. But I can assume with a high degree of certainty the following. We have no goals to divide anything in the European Union. On the contrary, we are interested in the EU being one and prosperous, because the European Union is our largest trade and economic partner. And the more problems within the European Union, the more risks and uncertainties for ourselves. The fact that our trade turnover with the countries of the European Union is almost 250 billion is already telling us a lot. It fell twice, was 400-odd billion. So why do we need a further fall? Why should we swing the European Union in order to incur additional losses, costs, or not receive the possible benefits from cooperation with the European Union? On the contrary, it is necessary to increase cooperation with the European Union.

And if we work at a political level with someone or work with someone more intensively than with others, we proceed only from simple pragmatic considerations. We try to cooperate with those who publicly declare their willingness and desire to cooperate with us. Only in this you look for the reason for some contacts at the political and party level of our political parties, formations, some movements and European, and not in the desire to shake something or something to interfere in the EU itself. We do not have such goals, there was never and never will be.

40 percent of our gold and foreign currency reserves are stored in euros. Why should we shake this all, including the single European currency as a derivative of the swing of the EU itself? I want both in Austria and other EU countries to throw this thought out of my head.

A. Wolf: Despite this, Western governments, Europe, and above all the United States, accuse Russia of interfering in the internal politics of other states by the forces of hackers. In all interviews, you say that this is not true, but there is no doubt that in St. Petersburg for many years there is a so-called Internet Research Agency, which tries to influence Facebook in public debates. These so-called trolley factories belong to Eugene Prigogine, whom you know very well, he is called the cook of Putin, since he serves all your guests. Is it really good that those who maintain such close relations with the Russian leadership are involved in troll factories?

Vladimir Putin: You said "Russia", and then started talking about hackers, right? When you said "Russia", did you mean the Russian state or individual Russian citizens, hackers, some legal entities?

A. Wolf: I had in mind Mr. Prigogine.

Vladimir Putin: I will now talk about Prigogine.

I ask you to make a difference between the Government of the Russian Federation, the Russian state, Russian citizens or some legal entities, maybe.

You have just said that Mr. Prigogine is called the cook of Putin. He really does the restaurant business, it's his economic base, he's a restaurateur in Petersburg.

But now I want to ask you: Do you really think that the person who is engaged in the restaurant business, even having some hacking opportunities, having some private firm in this area - I do not even know what he does - with these positions can affect elections in the United States or in some European country? How low did everything that happens in the information and political sphere in the countries of the united West fall, if a restaurateur from Russia can influence elections in some European country or in the United States! It's not funny?

A. Wolf: Mr. President, it's probably good or bad, but it's not true. Mr. Prigogine does not only deal with restaurants, he has many firms that have concluded contracts with the Ministry of Defense and receive many state orders, he spends millions of dollars for a troll factory to produce these posts. Why do you need this restaurateur?

Vladimir Putin: Ask him. The Russian state has nothing to do with this.

A. Wolf: But you know him well yourself.

Vladimir Putin: So what? I know many people in Petersburg and Moscow. You ask them.

In the United States there is such a figurant - Mr. Soros, who interferes in all matters around the world. And to me very often our American friends say: America has nothing to do with this as a state. Now rumors have gone that Mr. Soros wants to shake the euro, the European currency. This is already being discussed in expert circles. Ask the State Department: why is he doing this? The State Department will respond that he has nothing to do with this, this is a personal matter of Mr. Soros. And we have this personal matter of Mr. Prigogine. Here, please, answer you. Are you satisfied with this answer?

A. Wolf: Prigogine is now accused in the US along with 12 other Russian citizens in the case of interference in the elections. You and Donald Trump are very kind to talk to each other, but Trump has been President for a year and a half and there has not yet been a bilateral summit between you, despite the fact that you met with Bush and Obama in the first six months after your election. Why so much time is required for this?

Vladimir Putin: This should be asked from our colleagues from the United States. In my opinion, this is the result of the ongoing acute domestic political struggle in the United States itself. Indeed, we met with President Trump, first, repeatedly at various international venues, and secondly, we regularly talk on the phone. Together and quite well working are our foreign policy departments and special services in those areas that are of mutual interest, especially in the fight against international terrorism. Work continues.

As for personal meetings, in my opinion, they, these possible meetings, largely depend on the internal political alignments of the United States itself. Now the pre-election campaign for the Congress begins, then presidential elections are not far off, attacks on the President of the United States continue in different directions. I think that first of all this is the case.

In one recent telephone conversation, Donald said that he was concerned about a new possible arms race. I completely agree with him. But in order to prevent this possible arms race - and we are not the initiators of such a development of events, as you know, we did not withdraw from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, we just answered the threats that arise for us in this regard, but I agree with the President of the United States - we should think about this, we must do something about it, give the relevant instructions to the foreign ministries, our Foreign Ministry and the US State Department. Experts need to start to work in a substantive way, but I hope that once this work in the interests of the US and Russia, in the interests of the whole world in fact, because we are the largest nuclear powers, will begin, including between ourselves and personally.

A. Wolf: Many are concerned about the situation in North Korea. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov recently returned from there. Do you think that there can be an atomic war between the United States and North Korea?

Vladimir Putin: Even thinking about this topic is not very desirable, and the assumption is terrible. If anyone is not interested in this, then this is Russia, because North Korea is our neighbor. Incidentally, one of the nuclear test sites, the one that, in my opinion, is now being destroyed by North Korea, is, in God's memory, only 190 kilometers from the borders of the Russian Federation. For us it has absolutely objective meaning and is very significant. Therefore, we will do everything to ensure that there is a discharge on the Korean peninsula. In this connection, of course, we have high hopes for the personal meeting of President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, because mutual claims have come too far.

It seems to me that this road - the road to the denuclearization of North Korea - must still be expensive with a two-way traffic. If the leader of North Korea still confirms his intentions in practical matters, for example, refuses new tests of ballistic missiles, from new nuclear tests, then the other side must also do some tangible, understandable steps. In this regard, I consider counter-productive the continuation of military activity, military maneuvers and everything connected with this. I very much hope that the situation will develop in a positive way.

We, on our part, are ready to make every effort to do this. We have always been in touch with the leadership of North Korea, we offer a number of joint tripartite projects in the field of economy. These are infrastructure projects, the railway from Russia to the North and then South Korea, it is the same pipeline transport, work in the energy sector, in the trilateral and, perhaps, in the quadrilateral format - together with China.

By the way, China has done a lot to ensure that the situation is directed towards detente and denuclearization. If we all join forces, including within the framework of the Russian-Chinese road map, which we jointly proposed to address the North Korean nuclear issue, then I think we will achieve the results we need.

A. Wolf: One of the most difficult topics in the context of Russia is Ukraine. In 2014 the MH17 flight in Ukraine was shot down, 290 people were killed. The International Commission of Inquiry stated several days ago that this plane was shot down by the missile system of the Russian army, that it was a convoy from Russia, who arrived to the Ukrainian rebels in the east of Ukraine. There are videos, there are phone conversations and dozens of witnesses. You have been saying for a year that this does not correspond to the truth, but practically no one believes these words.

Do not you, by the same token, bet on the reliability of Russian statements? Perhaps, after many years to really admit that the rebels in the east of Ukraine used Russian weapons in order to commit this terrible crime?

V.Putin: I would like to note that both the conflicting sides: the Ukrainian army, and even the Ukrainian nationalist battalions, which do not obey anyone but their leaders, and the Donbas militia, the armed formations of the Donbass, they all use Soviet and Russian weapons. All. Both one and the other side are armed with all sorts of different complexes: small arms, aviation, and anti-aircraft combat systems. All this is Russian production.

A. Wolf: But now they already know which rocket is the missile of the Buk complex. It was a brigade of the Russian army in Kursk. This is already known for certain, nevertheless you deny it. But do not you admit that this missile is really of Russian origin? Should we not officially recognize that Russia supported the rebels in the east of Ukraine with weapons?

Vladimir Putin: If you get patience and listen to me, then you will know my point of view on this issue, okay?


Secondly, Russian experts are not allowed to investigate, our arguments are not taken into account, nobody wants to listen to us in this commission. On the contrary, the Ukrainian side, which is interested in the results of this investigation, is admitted to this investigation. And it is at least responsible for the fact that in violation of international regulations, ICAO did not prohibit the flight of civil aircraft in the conflict zone. We still can not get an answer to some questions related to the activities of Ukraine's combat aviation in this region, in this place and at this time. The tragedy that we are talking about is terrible, and it is endlessly sorry for the people who died and the families of the deceased, but this investigation must be objective and comprehensive.

Now, one second, do not rush. Let me say, otherwise we will not have an interview, but a monologue on only one side - yours.

A. Wolf: Let me nevertheless say briefly: yes, we already know where this rocket came from. But what interest does Holland, Australia, or Malaysia have in dumping blame on Russia, if it was not a Russian missile that belonged to the Russian Armed Forces?

Vladimir Putin: No, we do not think so, we have a different point of view. You have now listed the countries that supposedly believe that this is a Russian missile and that Russia is involved in this terrible tragedy. I must disappoint and upset you. More recently, Malaysian officials have stated that they do not see Russia's involvement in this terrible tragic event, that they have no evidence that Russia is involved in this. Do not you know about this? Have not you seen the statement of the Malaysian officials?

So what do we think about this issue? If we really want to understand this terrible event and identify all the factors that would allow us to make a final conclusion, then we need to take into account all the arguments, including the Russian ones. And it would be extremely fair if Russian experts were allowed to investigate.

A. Wolf: Now the international investigative commission claims that they really took into account all the arguments. Many people do not believe in Russian arguments, since many years ago in Crimea you said that the famous "green men", soldiers in green uniform without identification marks, were all local self-defense forces. And after a while it suddenly became clear that they really were Russian soldiers. After that you many times admitted that they were representatives of the Russian army, although before that you denied. Why should you believe this time?

Vladimir Putin: You mentioned Crimea. Do you know that in the middle of the 2000s a Russian civilian plane was shot down in the Crimea area over the Black Sea? This was done by the Ukrainian army during the exercises. And the first reaction of Ukrainian officials was that Ukraine has nothing to do with this. A civilian plane was flown down, flying a flight from Israel to Russia. Everyone died, naturally. Ukraine completely denied its involvement in this terrible incident, but then had to agree with this. And why should we now believe Ukrainian officials? Please accept the answer washer for your question in the Crimea.

A. Wolf: I'm not talking about Ukrainian officials, I'm talking about you. You in 2014 many times said that they used the Armed Forces in the Crimea in order to block the interference of Ukraine. Later you really recognized that there was a Russian army in the Crimea, and before that you denied it.

Vladimir Putin: There was always a Russian army there. I want, you know, that you do not repeat certain things mechanically, but really understand what was happening there. In the Crimea there was always a Russian army. There was our military contingent there.

Give me one second. Do you want to ask questions all the time or want to hear my answers?

And the first thing we did when the events in Ukraine began ... And what kind of events are these? I will now say - and you will say yes or no. This is an armed unconstitutional coup and seizure of power. Yes or no? Can you tell me?

A. Wolf: I am not an expert on the Ukrainian Constitution.

V.Putin: And here you do not need to be an expert in Ukraine, you just need to be an expert on law, on the constitutional law of any country.

A. Wolf: But I would not like to talk about Ukrainian politics, rather about Russian politics. Let me formulate it differently. What should happen if Russia returns Crimea to Ukraine?

V.Putin: There are no such conditions and can not be.

I'll tell you why now. You interrupted me again, and by the way, if you let me finish, you would understand what is meant. I'll still do it.

When an unconstitutional armed coup took place in Ukraine, the seizure of power by force, our army was legally in the Crimea, under the agreement there was our military base. The first thing we did was increase our contingent to guard our Armed Forces there, our military facilities, to which, we have seen, various assassinations and encroachments are already being prepared. That's where it all began. I confidently told you that in addition there was no one there, but there were our Armed Forces under the contract.

Let me tell you in the end. (He speaks German.) Seien Sie so nett, lassen Sie mich etwas sagen. [Be kind, let me say.]

A. Wolf: I do not want to interrupt you so much, but it's not about the Russian Black Sea Fleet. Of course, he was there. It's about fighters in uniform without unmarked signs. You said that they are Crimeans, but they were not Crimeans, they were Russian servicemen.

Vladimir Putin: I will now say this, be patient. We have enough time.

Our servicemen were always there. I said: our servicemen were there, they did not take part in anything. But when the spiral of unconstitutional actions in Ukraine began to twist, when people in the Crimea felt themselves in danger, when they were already sent to the nationalists by trains, they began blocking buses and motor transport, people had a desire to protect themselves. And the first thing that occurred to me was to restore my rights, which were received within the framework of Ukraine itself, when Crimea got autonomy. From this, in fact, everything began, the process began in the parliament itself to determine its independence from Ukraine.

Listen, is this strictly prohibited by the Charter of the United Nations? No. The right of nations to self-determination is clearly stated there.

At this moment, our Armed Forces, which did not exceed even the numerical contingent that was put under the contract about our base, what did they do? They ensured the holding of independent free elections - the will of people living in the Crimea. By the way, the decision to hold this referendum was made by the Crimean parliament, which was elected in full accordance with the Constitution and laws of Ukraine until all such events of this kind. Therefore nothing illegal ...

Just a second.

A. Wolf: As far as I know, the parliament did not have the right to make this decision. But let's continue our conversation. The annexation of the Crimea - this was the first time that a country in Europe annexed part of another country against its will. This was really perceived as a threat to neighboring states, from Poland to the Baltic states, because it was assumed that minorities in these countries could also receive protection from Russian troops.

Vladimir Putin: You know, if you do not like my answers, then do not ask questions. But if you want to get my opinion on the questions that I ask, then you need to still have patience. I have to finish.

So, Crimea gained independence not as a result of the invasion of Russian troops, but as a result of the will of the Crimeans in an open referendum.

If you are talking about annexation, is it possible to call a referendum by a people who live in this territory an annexation? Then it is necessary to name the annexation of Kosovo's self-determination. Why do not you call the annexation of Kosovo's self-determination after the invasion of NATO troops? You do not say that. You are talking about the right of Kosovars to self-determination. Kosovars did this only by the decision of the parliament, and the Crimeans did it in a referendum, which received over 90 percent of people living in the Crimea, and voted for independence, and then for joining Russia, about the same - about 90 percent. Is not this democracy? And what is it then? And then what about democracy?

A. Wolf: Mr. President, the referendum was still unconstitutional.

Vladimir Putin: Why?

A. Wolf: This did not correspond to the Ukrainian legislation, the Ukrainian Constitution. It was not a free referendum, Western observers say.

And what you are saying about Kosovo: You yourself called the declaration of independence of Kosovo immoral and illegal, so far it has not been recognized. How can this be?

Vladimir Putin: It can be very, and I'll tell you why now. Because in the course of political processes and military events in the former Yugoslavia, a decision was taken with regard to Kosovo - by the way, I can give you a quote - the UN Court, in which it is spelled out - read and read it for your viewers and listeners: "The consent of the central authorities countries in determining sovereignty issues is not necessary. " So the UN Court commented on the events in Kosovo, and now you say ...

A. Wolf: There were very clear premises that were not met in the Crimea. This is what all international observers say.

V.Putin: What?

A. Wolf: There is no one who would recognize this vote, there is no one who would recognize annexation.

V.Putin: Your arguments look completely unconvincing, because no one should recognize the will of citizens residing in this or that territory. This fully corresponds to what is written in the decision of the UN Court, and there can not be any double interpretation, but a double interpretation for those who are trying to do it.

A. Wolf: Can I catch you at the word?

Vladimir Putin: Try it.

A. Wolf: If so, then it turns out that people in Chechnya, Dagestan and Ingushetia could also organize a referendum and separate from Russia? Or organize an Islamic caliphate in your own territory?

Vladimir Putin: Yes, the radical elements of Al-Qaeda and in principle wanted to tear this territory away from the Russian Federation and form a caliphate from the Black to the Caspian Sea. I do not think that Austria and Europe would rejoice at this, nothing good would come of it. But the Chechen people themselves in the elections came to a completely different conclusion, and in the course of the discussion after all the bloody events the Chechen people still signed an agreement with the Russian Federation. The Russian Federation went on a very difficult decision for itself to give Chechnya and many other subjects of the Russian Federation a status that determines the high level of their independence within the Russian Federation. And it was ultimately the decision of the Chechen people themselves, we are very happy about it and adhere to these agreements.

The same thing, incidentally, could be done in Ukraine as applied to the Donbas. Why has not this been done so far? And then it would not be necessary to limit the use of the languages ​​of foreign minorities in Ukraine, meaning not only Russian, but also Romanian, Hungarian, and Polish. This is somehow said little in Europe, but this is the realities of today.

A. Wolf: The last question in Ukraine. Do you think the Ukrainian problem would be solved if Ukraine declared itself as a Sweden or Austria, a neutral country and would not join NATO?

Vladimir Putin: This is one of the problems, but not the only one. I have already spoken about the limitations in the use of native languages ​​for national minorities. The law on language in Ukraine was adopted, which was criticized, including in Europe, but it works. And to a large extent this complicates the situation in Ukraine. But I will remind you, these, you know, are things that few people know, but the ideologists of Ukrainian independence, Ukrainian nationalists in the XIX century spoke of the need to form an independent, independent from Russia Ukrainian state. But many of them spoke about the need to maintain very good relations with Russia, talked about the need to form an independent Ukrainian state on federative principles, and so on. Already. And today, in my opinion, this is one of the issues that is the most acute within Ukraine itself. But this is done, of course, by Ukraine itself.

As for the neutral status, these are issues that the Ukrainian people themselves and the Ukrainian leadership must determine. For us, for Russia, this is important from the point of view that there are no military facilities on the territory of Ukraine that would threaten our security. For example, new missile defense complexes that would try to stop our nuclear potential. Yes, for us it is important, I do not hide. But in the final analysis, this is the choice of the most Ukrainian people and the legitimately elected authorities.

A. Wolf: I would like to ask you a question about Syria before we move to Russia. You say that everyone is claiming the use of chemical weapons, but all this was invented, since Assad and his army have no chemical weapons. Now it was proved that some of the attacks were actually carried out by terrorists, but others, many of them, were indeed the troops of Assad. Nevertheless, Russia prevents the extension of the work of this commission. Why are you doing this? Why are you defending a regime that uses chemical weapons against its people?

Vladimir Putin: You have just said that it has been proved by all that Assad used chemical weapons. But not all. Our experts speak of something else. For example, the case, which was the reason for striking Syrian territory after allegedly used weapons in the city of Duma.

See: the Syrian troops liberated this territory. We immediately invited our partners to go to the OPCW commission, the UN unit, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. They left for the region, they were already in a neighboring country, in my opinion, in Lebanon. And instead of waiting for one or two days and giving her the opportunity to work on the spot, a missile attack was made on the territory of Syria.

Tell me, please: is this the best way to resolve the issue of the objectivity of what was happening there? I think no. In my opinion, this is the desire to create conditions that are impossible to fully investigate. That's what it is.


We found children, their parents, who were watered and who said they did not understand what was happening. We brought them to The Hague to show. Nobody wants to listen to them. And after that you tell me: everyone recognizes the use of chemical weapons. Not all. We believe that this is fake news, which was used as a pretext for striking, and striking violates international law. This is aggression against a sovereign state. Who allowed to strike on the territory of a sovereign state? The UN Security Council? No. So, what is this? Aggression.

A. Wolf: Mr. President, we should not talk about the Duma, because there is not yet an investigation completed, but the international commission has proved that before that, chemical attacks by the Syrian regime were often carried out often. And after that you wrapped this commission in the UN.

V.Putin: Because she is not allowed to work. Before she had to start working in the Duma, they put out rocket-and-bomb strikes. What is that? This is the first.

Second: in general, this should be investigated objectively, and then we all recognize.

You have just said that the use of chemical substances and chemical weapons by militants was documented. Who punished them? Tell me.

A. Wolf: The same commission ...

Vladimir Putin: No, I ask, who punished them? Have they suffered any punishment? Did the coalition immediately strike at them? I did not see anything like this.

A. Wolf: Mr. President, I am already being given signals that we do not have much time. I would like to talk with you about Russia, because there is very little time.

Vladimir Putin: Please.

A. Wolf: In 2012, during the pre-election campaign, you promised that by 2020 you will significantly improve the standard of living in Russia. Nevertheless, in subsequent years, economic growth remains rather weak - less than two percent, salaries have declined in the last two years, and the number of people living below the poverty line has increased compared to 2012. Are you really looking for foreign policy challenges to justify internal problems?

V.Putin: I want everyone who thinks so to calm down. Since 2012, Russia has gone through a number of very difficult challenges in the economy. And this is due not only to so-called sanctions and restrictions. This is primarily due to a serious drop in prices for our traditional exports - twice. In this connection, this has affected the budget revenues, and hence, ultimately, the incomes of citizens. But we did the most important thing, and now it was only at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum that our colleagues, including the IMF leadership, noted that we did the most important thing: we preserved and strengthened macroeconomic stability in the country.

Yes, indeed, the level of wages has slightly subsided, the incomes of the population have slightly subsided, but if we look at the beginning of our path, by the present moment since 2000, we have halved the number of people living below the poverty line. Twice. From 2012 to 2016-2017, this figure has slightly changed in an unfavorable direction for us, but now everything is again leveled.

We had inflation of 12.5 percent, almost 13 percent, now minimal for the entire recent history of Russia inflation - 2.5 percent. Gold and foreign exchange reserves are growing, we have become clear after the fall of this, indeed, about which I have already said, a steady growth of the economy. Yes, it is still modest - 1.5 percent, but investments in fixed assets - 4.4 percent, which indicates that further growth is guaranteed. Foreign direct investments nearly doubled, and, as I said, both the Central Bank's gold and foreign exchange reserves and the reserves of the Government are growing. We have created very good conditions for the next steps to develop the economy, and we will definitely do it
A. Wolf: You have been President or Prime Minister for 18 years already. Some say that you turned a country that was on the road to democracy, into an authoritarian system, that you are supposedly the king here. Is this true?

Vladimir Putin: No, it's not right. This, of course, is wrong and does not correspond absolutely to any reality, because we have a democratic state, and we all live within the framework of the current Constitution. In our Constitution, it is written - in my opinion, just as in the Constitution of Austria: for two consecutive terms, not more, the President can be elected. Therefore, after two legitimate terms of my presidency, I left this post, did not change the Constitution and moved to another position, worked as Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation. After that, as is known, in 2012 he returned, passed through the elections, the election won. At us today one term of the President, in my opinion, as well as at you, - six years.

Almost 70 percent of voters came to the last elections. This is almost half of all citizens of the Russian Federation. In fact, there was not a single serious observation from international observers about the organization of elections and about their results, so there is no doubt that democracy in Russia has become established. We are interested precisely in the democratic way of development of our country, so it will be.

I'm not talking about different kinds of other elections: municipal, regional. They are hundreds of us pass through the country with unchanged success for those political forces that win the confidence of citizens.

A. Wolf: Nevertheless, it turned out that the most famous oppositionist in Russia could not put forward his candidacy, this is blogger Alexei Navalny. You have never called his name openly, Alexei Navalny. Why?

Vladimir Putin: We have a lot of rebels, just like you, just like in the United States.

I already in conversation with your colleague mentioned: there was such movement in the USA - Occupy Wall Street. Where are they now? They are not here.

Do you really have little - and in Europe in general, and in Austria - people who come from some extreme positions, preach some extreme points of view, trying to manipulate the complexities and problems in society? In particular, issues related to corruption.

In Ukraine, for example, about which we spoke, one of the slogans of the opposition in coming to power was the fight against corruption. What is happening now with corruption? What does Europe say about corruption in Ukraine? Everyone scolds the leadership of Ukraine for what they do little in this area. Why do you think that we ...

Just a moment ...

A. Wolf: Why did not you name him publicly?

Vladimir Putin: You do not give me the phrase to finish, behave so impatiently.

We do not want us to get one more, second, third or fifth Saakashvili, the former President of Georgia. We do not want Saakashvili to appear on our political scene in the second, third, fourth edition. Do you like such figures, supposedly political figures?

We, Russia, need people with a positive agenda that they know, and not just designate the problems that we have enough, just like you, in Austria, just like in any other country. You can snatch this problem and begin to spin it up or position yourself on the proposed solutions to this issue. But if there is not a single positive start and suggestions, how to solve this or that problem, how to solve this or that question, then people do not react much to it.

Believe me, a voter in Russia is already mature enough, he looks not only at attractive slogans, but also on proposed ways of solving problems. And if nothing is offered, then these people are uninteresting. And the question is what? If a person uses ...

A. Wolf: But the voters could not even look at this candidate, because he could not nominate a candidate.

V.Putin: Voters can look at any person, because the Internet is free for us. Nobody closed it. The mass media are free. People can always go out and declare themselves, which is what various figures of various political movements and trends do. If a person gets some weight from a voter, then he becomes a figure with which the state power must communicate, negotiate or conduct a dialogue. And if in one and the other political force the level of trust is measured by 1, 2, 3 percent or hundredths of a percent, then what are we talking about? Then, please, here is Saakashvili to you. Why do we need such clowns?

A. Wolf: I see.

Navalny received 27 percent of the vote in Moscow in 2013 ...

Vladimir Putin: Do you think how many voted for your obedient servant in Moscow in the last election? Not for the mayor of Moscow, but for the President in Moscow how many voted? Look.

A. Wolf: Probably more than 27 percent. Just Navalny could not put forward his candidacy.

Vladimir Putin: Yes, much more, for which I am very grateful to the Muscovites. Because in Moscow a very mature voter, very mature. And now we are not talking about the mayoral elections, we are talking about presidential elections.

A. Wolf: At the end of this presidential term, you will be more than 70 years old.

V.Putin: I hope so. (Laugh.)

A. Wolf: And you will be more than 20 years in power. Accordingly, you can not put forward your candidacy in accordance with the Constitution. After the end of the presidential term, will you leave politics or will you continue to be in power and become a prime minister?

Vladimir Putin: How would you like it?

A. Wolf: It does not matter. I'm curious what you want.

Vladimir Putin: My presidential term has just begun, I'm only at the beginning of the road, let's not run ahead. I have never violated the Constitution of my country and I am not going to do it. Much will depend on how we will work - when I say "we", I mean myself and my team, what results we will achieve. But you are right, indeed, I am already engaged in administrative and public work long enough, for myself, I will have to decide what I will do after my current presidential term expires.

A. Wolf: People speculate about a referendum that will be held to make you, as Xi Jinping in China, a lifetime President. Is it possible in Russia?

Vladimir Putin: I do not comment on speculation. I think that this would not be serious from the level of the President of the Russian Federation.

A. Wolf: Then I have the last question, maybe a little unusual. There are a lot of your photos in a half-naked kind, which is really unusual for the head of state. These photos are not made by the paparazzi or by tourists, but are published by the Kremlin itself. What kind of photos are these?

Vladimir Putin: You said half-naked. Thank God, not "in the nude." If I rest, I do not consider it necessary to hide behind bushes and I see nothing bad about it.

A. Wolf: Mr. President, it is known that you speak excellent German, you have already said something. Perhaps, at the end of our conversation and before your visit to Austria, will you say something to our listeners in German?

Vladimir Putin: Thank you very much for your attention.


05.06.2018 12:00:00


22.06.2018 10:11:11

GroozGo launched its own application

Online trucking service GroozGo launched a mobile application
22.06.2018 09:32:29

3: 1

Egypt decided to file a judicial protest after the defeat with Russia
22.06.2018 08:38:08

"I really do not care, but to you?"

A new scandal with the First Lady
22.06.2018 08:27:50

Work for pensioners is not easy

Salaries for people of retirement age in Russia are 15-20% lower than in young people
22.06.2018 08:13:25

Holiday Inn Express Hotel

New Holiday Inn Express opened in Moscow under the auspices of the World Trade Center


advertisement