MOSCOW, November 25, 8:47 /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s President Vladimir Putin is always prepared to hear his staff’s views, though if not satisfied with their work, will criticize toughly. Besides, as a rule, he is very strong in arguments, presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov said in an interview with The New Times magazine.
Peskov, who has been working at the presidential administration since Putin’s first term as president, and since 2008 as his press secretary, says the president is not always happy about himself: “This happens; on such occasions he criticizes, and when he does so he is tough.”
It is possible at the administration to defend a point of view, he said, however only before a final decision is in place. “As we are working on whatever decision, everyone is free to express views; this is a normal way of things,” he said. The press secretary mentioned as an example a discussion of a bill presented to the State Duma, which returns to the investigation the right to open cases on tax crimes. “At that time contra were first of all Aleksey Ulukayev (Minister of Economic Development), followed by the prime minister (Dmitry Medvedev),” he said. “Vladimir Putin’s reaction was tough.”
“The thing is — while working on a decision, arguments or alterations are welcomed, but as a decision is made, officials should not argue it publicly,” Peskov said. “This is not correct, this is not a practice.”
At the same time, Peskov said the president was always open to hear an opponent.
“Everybody working with him may express his own point of view, he will listen always; he says: ‘Explain it to me. Please, I am ready’,” the press secretary said. “But it is complicated to argue with him, as he is always very strong in his reasons; in the long run you realize he knows more on the topic than you.
The power in Russia has become more open, Dmitry Peskov told The New Times magazine.
“Honestly speaking, I do not do what a modern press secretary should be doing,” Peskov said. “My counterparts in France, Great Britain or the US organize public briefings for reporters twice a day. We do not have practice of the kind, we have a slightly different system.”
“But we have undertaken many steps to make the power more open. We are trying to give answers to all questions from the media. If the power does not respond, somebody is doing it. And if this is done by somebody else, his or her point of view may differ from that of the power,” the presidential press secretary said.