Key quotes from Putin interview with AFP
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin gave a wide-ranging interview to Agence France-Presse this week in the Black Sea coastal resort of Sochi, site of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games.
Here are some of his quotes on key topics addressed in the meeting on Monday:
"We trust and believe" in the euro.
"In my view, there exist no objective conditions for the fall of the euro."
"Yes, there are some difficulties. I am certain they are only temporary."
"We have no plans to change our relationship to the euro as a reserve currency and in its proportion of our reserves."
"The fundamentals of the European economy are on the whole pretty strong."
"No one has an interest in the collapse of the European Union."
"Sanctions are basically ineffective."
"Do you know of a single case where they were effective?"
"We are ready, together with the entire international community, to seek a resolution to Iranian nuclear problems and we will move down this path together."
"At some point in the application of sanctions the North Korean leadership announced that it had acquired nuclear weapons. And so what was the purpose of all these sanctions?"
"What is especially tragic is that this act was carried out in neutral waters. This is something entirely new and of course requires careful review."
"Everything needs to be done to make sure that nothing of the kind happens again."
"We have always called for the lifting of the blockade" on Gaza.
"I don't think such methods are effective in resolving the problems faced in the region."
"All the people living in this region have a right to secure self-development, including Israel."
FRENCH WARSHIP SALE:
"For us, this deal is interesting only if it is accomplished with a parallel transfer of technology."
"Cooperation in a field as sensitive as military-industrial manufacturing of course leads to higher trust between countries."
"France has such helicopter-carrying ships. So who is France preparing to attack? Why do people automatically assume that Russia will of course have to use this to attack someone?"
"Modern strike forces give us the means to carry out any military operation from the territory of the Russian Federation deep into any part of the territory of Georgia. And we don't need the Mistral for this."
CULT OF PERSONALITY:
"A cult of personality is not just attention to a single person. It is violation of the law on a mass scale, linked with repression."
"Even in my worst nightmares I cannot imagine that this could happen again in Russia today.
"The maturity of today's Russian society, believe me, is is high enough to prevent development of the kinds of processes that we encountered in the 1930s, 40's and 50's of the last century."
"Wherever you point around, the world leaders attempt to make themselves look better than they in fact are, and try to restrict possibilities for mass media" to scrutinize those efforts.
"In societies where civil society is well developed, the authorities generally do not succeed... In societies where civil society is not yet fully mature, has not become strong, this kind of manipulation is easier for them."
"Our task is for civil society to mature, to grow, to strengthen and to feel its power."
"We need to wait for 2012, now we are only in 2010... Let's get closer to 2012 and then we will see."
"We are of course already thinking about this issue with President Medvedev."
"How we act in 2012 depends on the results" in their current jobs.
"There is nothing secret here. Everything is well known to everyone."
"I like very much what I am doing now."
"When we feel that an imbalance is possible, we meet, discuss it, adopt a unified agreed decision and carry it out."
"There are times when he (Medvedev) simply calls up and says 'you know, I need to talk, there's this problem and I would like to hear your opionion'."
"This is a normal, natural process."
"The situation is restive -- and been for a long time -- in the Northern Caucasus. But thank God not in the Sochi region."
"As for Sochi itself and the Olympic facilities, then of course everything will be done and maximum effort made so that there are no problems here."
"A meteorite could fall, the Iceland volcano could erupt. A danger can come from anywhere. But as for our special and security services, everything will be done at the highest rank."
© 2010 AFP