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Putin defuses passions over all foreign, domestic policy issues - State Duma member

August 14, 2014, 20:27 UTC+3 Zamyatina Tamara
© AP Photo/Sergei Chirikov

MOSCOW, August 14. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s meeting with members of parliamentary factions and government members in Crimea has demonstrated the unity of all branches of power in safeguarding the country’s national interests, a senior legislator who was present at the discussion, State Duma member from the ruling United Russia party, Vyacheslav Nikonov, told ITAR-TASS.

“The very instance of Putin’s meeting with legislators and government officials in the resort city of Yalta was a confirmation that Crimea is part of Russia, that this is a fact of history and that the peninsula’s residents are full-fledged Russian citizens,” the politician said.

“During his opening statement and later, as he answered legislators’ questions, Putin defused many passions over all aspects of domestic and foreign politics. The Russian president spoke from the position of common sense and stuck to the principle of not causing harm to the national interests,” Nikonov said.

“Putin said that international courts, including the European Court of Human Rights, is extremely politicized when it comes to Russia. At the same time the question of Russia’s walkout from the international jurisdiction is not on the agenda, but may be brought to the fore any time depending on the further march of events,” Nikonov said.

“As for the possibility of withdrawing the assets of the National Welfare Fund and the Reserve Fund from the West, Putin’s answer to the law-makers’ question was ‘three-fold’. On the one hand, Putin said he was not in the mood of spending money from the reserve funds. On the other, he remarked that some sensible amounts of cash from these funds were being invested in infrastructural projects already. The biggest question is where the national welfare fund and reserve fund money should be kept. Putin made it quite clear he was aware of placing Russia’s reserves in the West and that corresponding measures were being taken already,” Nikonov said.

Nikonov, the head of the national committee for BRICS countries studies, said that Putin had mentioned the reserve currencies of the BRICS countries as a sort of safety net for the Russian economy.

“The legislators’ questions contained more concern about anti-Russian sanctions by the United States and the European Union countries the president’s answers. Putin said Russia’s retaliatory sanctions against food import from Europe were due to western sanctions against Rosselkhozbank, which posed an obstruction to fair competition within the World Trade Organization,” Nikonov said.

“The head of state dismissed the imperial, militarist model of Russia’s development proposed by the leader of the Liberal Democratic party, Vladimir Zhirinovsky. Putin reacted to the proposal in these words: ‘We are on the air live...’ Neither the president nor we, legislators, were aware that the meeting was not being telecast. Putin told Zhirinovsky that Russia was not threatening any country. Not a word was said about the possibility of using Russia’s armed forces against Ukraine. The president said Russia was going to build relations of peace with all countries,” the legislator said.

“At the same time Putin declared Russia’s intention to strengthen its defense capability by upgrading the armed forces and creating strategic nuclear force systems no other country around the world had at its disposal. In other words the head of state made it quite clear that Russia would have sufficient resources to counter external threats, if need be,” the politician said.

“Putin believes that it is necessary to maintain a normal investment climate in the country. He dismissed even the proposal for such a minor sanction as an embargo on the European Union on Russia’s market of tobacco,” Nikonov said.

“On the whole the atmosphere of the president’s meeting with the legislators and government members was open and frank. No tensions were felt. In a very roundabout way Putin urged all branches of power to be on friendly terms with each other, to rally closer together and work for the sake of the country’s prosperity,” Nikonov said in conclusion.

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