MOSCOW, September 28 (Itar-Tass) —— Prime Minister Vladimir Putin at a meeting with writers and representatives of the Russian Books Union on Wednesday called on the writers to express constructive criticism of the authorities.
"As for criticism of the authorities - either in a mild or a heavy form, it should not be a goal in itself. The critics should do it with talent - any criticism should be talented, but in my opinion, the process of criticism should be devoid of the critics' self-esteem; criticism should be expressed in essence, from an interested position, and the reaction is sure to follow," Putin stressed in reply to writer Mikhail Veller, who asked Putin, whether a writer in Russia could have his own point of view, which does not coincide with the position of the authorities.
"Everyone knows how to play football, ice-hockey, how to run a country, manage its economic and social sector. In fact, it is a good thing, when everyone else wants to give a piece of advice. It means people in this country are not indifferent," Putin said. "The intellectual elite are also willing to give its own piece of advice," Putin noted. «Indeed, there are certain people in Russia who have their own ideas and can formulate them so well that other people want to hear them. We are ready to heed such advice," Putin said.
"Regrettably, both politicians and writers often leave this country," Putin admitted in reply to another question asked by Mikhail Veller. "Politicians often leave to function abroad. Like workers of literature they leave, abandoning their environment; it is all the more difficult for them to work out there; they feel the pulse of their home country. This is a big tragedy for politicians either, which should rather not happen at all," Putin said. He expressed hope that nothing would happen in Russia any more to make people leave so as to continue their work in art or in politics.
Putin welcomes a dialogue between art and power. "I hope no one will leave elsewhere, and we will hear criticism not merely for the sake of criticism or enjoying one's own self-esteem , but hear interested criticism with the aim of changing the situation for the better," Putin said.