MOSCOW, June 5. /TASS/. Russian authorities deal with opposition rallies in a far softer way than in other countries, including the United States, President Vladimir Putin said in an interview with NBC News anchor Megyn Kelly, advising US officials to pontificate less.
"We have rallies, opposition rallies. And people here have the right to express their point of view," Putin noted. "However, if people, while expressing their views, break current legislation, the effective law in place, then of course, law enforcement agencies try to restore order."
"Our police force, fortunately, so far, do not use batons, tear gas or any other extreme measures of instilling order, something that we often see in other countries, including in the United States," he added.
The Russian president pointed to the Occupy Wall Street movement that had been protesting against economic inequality and social division.
"Speaking of opposition, let us recall the Occupy Wall Street movement," he noted. "Where is it now? Law enforcement agencies and special services in the US dismantled it into small pieces, and dissolved it. "I'm not asking you about how things stand in terms of democracy in the United States," he went on to say.
"Why do you believe you are entitled to raise such questions with us and, mind you, do it all the time, (you) moralize and teach us how we should live?" he asked, posing a rhetorical question.
"We are ready to listen to our partners, ready to listen to appraisals and assessments when it is done in a friendly manner, in order to establish contacts and create a common atmosphere and dedicate ourselves to shared values," he elaborated.
"But we absolutely will not accept when such things are used as a tool of political struggle. I want everybody to know that. This is our message."