NOVO-OGAREVO, September 27 (Itar-Tass) —— President Vladimir Putin critised the West over its policy with regard to Syria.
“The main point is that our partners cannot stop. They have already created an atmosphere of chaos in many territories and are now continuing the same policy in other countries, including Syria,” Putin said on Thursday, September 27.
At a meeting with Ryazan region residents, one of them asked the head of state about his position with regard to developments in the Middle East and Syria.
“Our position is to facilitate changes for the better in all countries without imposing what we consider right, especially by force, but rather to inspire development from within,” he said, adding that this is Russia’s position on the situation in Arab countries and Syria.
“We cautioned about the need to act carefully, without imposing anything by force in order to avoid chaos. And what do we see now? The situation looks very much like chaos,” Putin said.
“Russia has always been advantageously distinct from other countries” as it “developed as a multiethnic and multi-confessional state”, he said, adding, “Initially our leading confession -- Orthodoxy – was very tolerant to other religions”.
“A super task now is to ensure that a representative of each ethnic group, even the smallest one, if he lives in this territory and is a citizen of this country, feels absolutely equal with all others, that he understands that he personally and his children can implement the most ambitious plans and that there are no restrictions for him and he will not be infringed upon in any way,” the president said.
He stressed that the Russian state “has never imposed its will” or charter on anyone. “On the whole, we have always respected all ethnic groups, peoples and religions inside the country and tried to convey this in the international arena,” Putin said.
“The first large-scale ethnic cleansing known to mankind took place between the Roman Empire and Carthage, which is located in the territory of modern North Africa. The Roman Empire not only seized and occupied Carthage but, after everything had been destroyed and everyone slain, also poured salt all over to make sure than nothing ever grew there,” Putin recalled.
He believes it necessary to speak not only about the many good things inherited by European culture from Rome, but about such negative facts as well.
“I would not like to see a recurrence of what happened in the history of mankind many centuries ago. But I think something like that is happening again when strong countries try to impose their rules of conduct and their moral code on weak ones, without measuring their actions against history, traditions and religion of the relevant country,” the president said.
He underlined that “it is extremely important [for Russia] to preserve inter-confessional peace” and called on society to pool efforts in solving this task.