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Putin rolls up his sleeves to find a national idea

September 20, 2013, 11:31 UTC+3

Putin visits Valdai forum, speaks on internal and external policies

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Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Valdai forum participants Thursday. He spoke about internal and international problems, noting he believed discussion about Russian identity was necessary with the participation of representatives of all the political forces.

Putin for the first time in ten years had a meeting with Valdai Club members, which was fully open for the press, Kommersant writes. In his opening speech, he paid attention mostly to Russian national identity. He noted that it was advantageous that there was no national idea for those who plundered the country for 20 years after the Soviet Union breakup. But for the present, Russia has no national idea yet. It is not clear at all from his words for whom it is advantageous at present.

The newspaper also points out the president's answer to the question whether he would run for the next presidential term. "I do not rule out it," Putin said.

Political analyst Boris Mezhuyev writes in Izvestia about the results of the Valdai forum. According to the expert, it was held in the shadow of two events. The first was connected with Russia’s internal policy - the September 8 elections, in which the opposition gained noticeable support. The second is Russia's diplomatic breakthrough in the situation with a war in Syria.

The two lines met and developed in the concluding event, where President Putin was present and spoke, the expert said.

His message, actually, if to unite the earlier prepared address and answers to questions, consists of three parts -- Russia is offered a rather conservative ideology based on national, including religious, values, a little more liberal internal policy and a breakthrough initiative-possessing diplomatic policy, the political analyst writes in the Izvestia.

Putin, according to the expert, said everything he should say about the necessity to maintain the traditional family and society life fundamentals, expressing indignation at how the fundamentals are gradually destroyed in Europe and America. At the same time, the president, as well as members of his administration earlier, again confirmed that the new quality of elections with wide access for political opponents was not any accidental event, but was a well-considered policy, from which none intended to deviate.

Moreover, the Izvestia notes, in reply to Vladimir Ryzhkov's direct question about the Bolotnaya Square case, Putin, harshly criticizing participants in the disorders, said he did not rule out amnesty for the convicts of the high-profile trial.

The president made it clear that Russia had a position of principle on international issues, which differs from the hypocritical moralism and poorly-considered realism of Western partners, who sometimes, as in the case of Syria, themselves do not know what they want.

All the atmosphere of the event was intended to emphasize that Putin remained an international-scale leader, a man who is able to settle not only national, but also world conflicts, and there is no serious alternative to him in Russia, Mezhuyev said. World leaders have to give him credit, and opposition leaders, particularly those who have decided to speak at the forum on behalf of the new generation, like prodigal children, return to the home of their political father, against whom they rioted so thoughtlessly and arrogantly.

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