Monday, June 04, 2007

Putin's press-conference making headlines

Vladimir Putin's quote of the month came during a press-conference he gave to journalists representing the G-8 countries at the eve of the summit on Friday, that has now been published or referred to in all of the top Western publications (Financial Times, The Times; The Guardian; The Wall Street Journal ). A full commentary will be published by this blog later on Monday. For now enjoy:

Q: Do you consider yourself a "dyed-in-the-wool democrat," as Gerhardt Schroeder once called you?

A: Of course I am. I am an absolutely pure democrat. The real tragedy is that I am the only one. Elsewhere in the world there just aren't any others. Let's look at what is happening in North America -- nothing but horror. Torture, homeless people, Guantanamo and the detention of people without trial. Let's look at what is happening in Europe. Look at how they deal with demonstrators. The use of tear gas in one capital or another, the murder of demonstrators in the street. Then look at the post-Soviet space. Ukraine, all our hopes were on the guys in Ukraine, but now they are drifting towards tyranny and a complete breach of the constitution.

Since Mahatma Gandhi died, there's just no one left to talk to.


Kalle Kniivilä said...

This is what Andrey Kolesnikov writes about the occasion:

...мы получили ответ года, закончившийся фразой пятилетки: "После смерти Махатмы Ганди не с кем поговорить".

При этом господин Путин ни разу, отвечая, не улыбнулся, а произнося эти слова, как-то необыкновенно широко раскрыл глаза, что и позволило потом коллегам восторженно говорить о том, как серьезно он подошел к ответу на этот вопрос и вот, оказывается, фигурой какого масштаба он себя считает. Между тем то, что было сказано, является какой-то, без преувеличения, адской иронией, от которой становилось не по себе именно потому, что он ни разу не улыбнулся.

Complete text here.

There is also an English version of the article, but the part I cited above is not in it.

nikolay i. said...

Thanks for the article. You can't beat Kolesnikov's pieces.