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Putin assures non-systemic opposition not an enemy of the state

Putin noted that the political awareness of Russia's ordinary citizens had grown over the past year

MOSCOW, March 17. /TASS/. Non-systemic opposition members are not enemies of the state, Russian President Vladimir Putin has avowed.

"Nothing of the sort. This has nothing to do with reality," Putin told TASS in an interview for the project entitled "20 Questions with Vladimir Putin".

He said he believes that politicians, including opposition ones, should not just criticize the authorities, but have a clear vision of how to go about the business of addressing the problems the country is faced with.

"An average person wants to see not just somebody criticizing the authorities, but hear and understand what is being proposed by those who do the criticizing," he said. "When nothing but criticism is heard in reply, then the question arises: Who should you vote for?"

Putin remarked that Russians were far from being naive when it came to politics. "It's not enough to just offer to put food on their table," he pointed out. "The political awareness of Russia's ordinary citizens has grown over the past year."

Episode 15 of the video interview is available at