MOSCOW, October 13. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin denied saying that Russia was not ready for the full exercise of democracy and noted that it could be perceived in different ways.
"First of all, I don’t remember when I said that Russia was not ready for full-fledged democracy," Putin stated at a plenary session of the Russian Energy Week. "Democracy can be perceived differently. Freedom of speech, religion, freedom of organizing and holding mass events on the streets and so on. When in Europe and the US [those taking part] in mass events are dispersed with rubber bullets and tear gas - is this freedom or not? <...> This does not sound like freedom," Putin noted.
The Russian president also emphasized that the statements about the death of democracy in Russia were grossly overstated. "The worries about the fact that Russian democracy has died are greatly exaggerated. <...> And you should not worry about us, better think about yourself, about what is happening [in your country]," Putin said.