VLADIVOSTOK, September 5. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated that all those taking part in the recent rallies in Moscow should be treated within the scope of the law, regardless of their age.
"[All of them should be treated] equally, according to the law," Putin said in response to a question from the moderator of the Eastern Economic Forum’s plenary session Sergei Brilev who suggested that one needs to go easy on young people whose views are easily malleable.
At the same time, he stressed that citizens had the right to protest in the interests of the country and within the framework of the law.
"Whenever people go out and express their point of view, like they do during protests, I believe that this is their right to do so, and I have said that before," the Russian leader stressed, when answering questions at the plenary session of the Eastern Economic Forum.
He added that "sometimes that leads to positive results," because it encourages the authorities to "tackle and iron out those problems that people are facing more effectively."
Putin noted, however, that people should act "in a positive way" and that they should be guided by the interests of the country and the people, and not by their selfish interests. He highlighted the need to act "within the framework of the established rules and laws."
"I have always adhered to that standpoint, and the developments in the world and in neighboring countries indicate that this is the right approach," Putin stressed.
Commenting on a string of recent protests in the Russian capital, he noted that it did matter what young people expended their energy on. "I assume that all of us, above all young people, should spend [their] energy on constructive processes," the head of state emphasized.