ST. PETERSBURG, November 17. /TASS/. Russia has no plans to "shut the window to Europe," even though it sometimes considers close some things "a little" when "there is a draft," Russian President Vladimir Putin said during the Untied Cultures Forum in St. Petersburg.
"When there is a draft, one thinks: maybe, it would be reasonable to close the window a little just not to get cold. But our weather is good, you see: yesterday, Prime Minister [Mikhail Mishustin] proudly reported a 5.5% economic growth last month," Putin said. "The yearly indicator will be over 3%. We used to say it carefully: it will 2.7% or 2.5%, or 2.8%. Now we say it with certainty: it will be above 3%. I would not say ‘like in Europe’, so that it does not sound like conceit or boasting. We have many problems."
"We do not want to sever relations with anyone, but we also do not do it. We do not shut anything - neither doors nor windows nor vents," Putin underscored. "We have no conflict with the European society."
"We have difficult times with European elites," the Russian president added, noting that "if someone decided to fence themselves off, then it is their business, they just rob themselves."
Putin expressed his bewilderment as to "how one can ban Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich, Glinka" - what happens in the West.
"We do not do that," he underscored. "I am certain that time will set everything straight."
The 9th St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum - the United Cultures Forum takes place between November 16 and 18. The event is organized by the Government and the Ministry of Culture of Russia, as well as St. Petersburg city authorities and the State Hermitage Museum. TASS is the event’s general informational partner.