SOCHI, October 18. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin says his love of Russia has grown far stronger over the recent years.
"As for Russia and my attitude, dare I say it that my love of Russia has grown far stronger over the recent years," the president told a session of the Valdai International Discussion Club on Thursday when asked whether his view of Russia has changed since the club started its activity 15 years ago.
Putin said he had not known Russia well enough until he started working at the federal level. "I saw what a great and powerful country it is. What powerful historical and moral roots it has," Putin stressed.
He said he had not learned this from books dating back to the Great Patriotic War (that the then Soviet Union fought against Nazi Germany in 1941-1945), but saw for himself how great and wise the Russian people were. "And that is why I am saying without any exaggeration that my love of Russia has grown far stronger," the Russian leader said.
Focusing on the situation around Russia, Putin noted that the global community had always helped Russia, sending humanitarian aid at difficult times. "This is good, we are grateful to our partners for this. I am saying this without a hint of irony. But as it was emerging as an evident and influential competitor in international affairs, obstacles to its development began to appear. This is certainly understandable from the point of view of logic of relations on the global arena. Who wants to see a strong contender?" Putin noted.
He also stressed that despite a host of threats, the world is becoming more balanced. "This is because multi-polarity of the world is taking shape. This is good for Russia, as well as for our partners across the globe. I hope very much that we will surmount today’s difficulties, will establish a dialogue with all our partners and participants in the international activity, we will be strengthening from inside, and this will give us a possibility to establish full-value relations with our partners on the international arena," he summed up.