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MOSCOW, April 16. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s calm and businesslike tone throughout the nearly four hours he spent in a TV studio answering questions live was clear evidence the authorities in general are very constructively minded in both home and foreign policies, polled political analysts have told TASS.
"The president looked very amicable, without the slightest hints at getting confrontational," the chairman of the Foreign and Defense Policy Council, Fyodor Lukyanov, has told TASS. "For instance, while declaring the impermissibility of putting an equal sign between Nazism and Communism, Putin remarked that predecessors created a certain pretext for such a comparison, and that the Soviet Union was trying to dictate its own political system to the East European countries," said Lukyanov, a member of the Valdai discussion club, who was among those present in the studio. "Such an acknowledgement by Russia’s leader was uttered for the first time ever, and it sounded conciliatory. Even Putin’s promise Russia would not demand from France any indemnities for the delayed delivery of Mistral ships was indicative of his positive vision of further cooperation with Western partners."
The director of the Political Studies Institute, Sergey Markov, believes that "the traditional 'Direct Line with Vladimir Putin' question-and-answer session indicated that Russian president is pretty certain about what he is doing and that the situation in the country is under control. Putin sent a clear message to the people not to get nervous. He promised that the authorities were hearing messages from society and reacting to its expectations," Markov, a member of the Civic Chamber, told TASS.
"In a sense, Putin waved 'hello' to those who introduced sanctions against Russia. He explained in very clear terms how sanctions might be used in Russia’s national interests. The ruble has become weaker, but that merely benefited the country’s economy. Russia’s counter-sanctions, which restricted the import of foreign foods, forced providers to look for sources of import substitution and to develop farming. The economic slump prompted greater support for small and medium businesses. The answer is clear — talking to Russia in a language of ultimatums is useless," Markov said.
"As for foreign policy matters, Putin made it quite clear that Russia had no enemies, there will be no war on the Russian-Ukrainian border, that Russian troops were absent from the south-east of Ukraine and that Moscow had no intention of reviving an empire. But at the same time Putin emphasized the need for strengthening national defenses to ensure nobody should ever have the wish to go to war with Russia.
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