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Vladimir Putin: First, about the situation around our information resources, such as Russia Today and Sputnik. Their capacity cannot compare with what our colleagues have in the US, in Europe; they simply cannot compare. We do not have so-called global media, mass media with global reach. This is the monopoly of the Anglo-Saxon world, primarily the United States.
Indeed, we have been told all along that it is absurd and even undemocratic to pressure any lawfully functioning media outlets, to close or persecute them, to exert pressure on journalists. There is only one democratic way to fight things one does not like, for both the authorities and the opposition: to express your opinion, but to express it so vividly, colourfully and brilliantly that people would believe you and accept your point of view, follow you and stand by you and support your position. All the rest is undemocratic.
What we see happening around our media now – I repeat, they are far less powerful than the US or British media – I simply do not know how to describe this. “Confusion” is too mild. They have turned everything upside down.
Regarding interference or non-interference: everyone knows, the whole world knows what the British or American media do. They directly and constantly influence internal political processes in almost all countries. How else are we to interpret what the media do, especially those outlets that work in, say, the political segment of the media?
They do influence things, of course, by expressing a certain point of view – in this case, we are talking about Russia’s point of view. And even so, they do not always take Russia’s point of view. I cannot monitor them all the time, but sometimes I see what Russia Today broadcasts. Its team includes journalists from various countries: Americans, and British, I believe, and Germans, too. They do excellent work. Really talented people. I sometimes marvel at the courage and talent they possess to lay everything out so clearly, precisely and fearlessly – my hat is off to them. Apparently, this is the key to Russia Today and Sputnik’s success, but it is also what they are hated for; anyway, it has nothing to do with democracy.
Now about “turning the other cheek.” I have already spoken about our nuclear facilities. It would seem we have disclosed everything we have, there is nowhere else to search, so we expected our American partners to do the same, well, at least to show some consideration for our interests, so that we would be full-fledged partners. As you can see, this is not the case, and even the opposite is true: as soon as they realised that our nuclear sector needs additional investment and modernisation, that our missile technology is growing obsolete, that there are other problems – aha, who would consider a weak partner? No one even talks to them or considers their interests anymore.
Therefore, in this case, all we can do is mirror their actions and rather quickly at that. As soon as we see any moves that limit the activities of our media in any way, a proportionate response will follow.
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