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Putin says media should oppose authorities

The media in a democratic society always opposes authorities, the Russian president has noted

ST.PETERSBURG, April 3. /TASS/. It is right when the media opposes authorities but journalists and officials should not constantly fight each other, Vladimir Putin said during a media forum arranged by the All-Russia People’s Front.

"The media in a democratic society always opposes authorities. It is absolutely right but I would like the journalists and officials to refrain from fighting each other all the time," Putin added.

The Russian president pointed out that there were many patriots and honest people among officials.

"I would like you to view them as those who are ready to offer you assistance while they should believe that you are ready to assist them," Putin said when asked about the interaction between the media and local authorities. "If you oppose each other, then sand will be constantly put in the wheels, but if you outline a common goal then you will be able to reach the best results," the president added.

On Internet and society 

Vladimir Putin has said that the government should not formulate Internet rules single-handedly, this issue should be tackled in a collaborative manner with the public. "We need to develop these sensitive things (related to the Internet rules) together. The state should not go down the path that it knows and understands everything better than anyone else," he said. 

The president recalled at the very beginning of the debate on Internet restrictions some people expressed fears that the state "will ban everything." "No, we didn’t," he assured. "Everything is working and functioning properly. Moreover, many people believe this is insufficient, that restrictions should be tougher."

Putin noted that the current restrictions suffice so far.

The Russian president pointed to the need to take into account the current state of society when tackling the issue of online restrictions. "Of course, we need to focus on the current state of our society (in terms of Internet restrictions)," he said.

When asked by a forum participant whether Russia would follow China’s path in this regard, Putin stressed that Russia has its own path, just like any other country. "There are some common trends, common rules and, of course, we are within this trend," he noted.

"There is no absolute freedom on the Internet now. All countries have imposed certain restrictions on content, on its use and so on," the president explained.