No one should doubt Russia's democratic development, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said that no one should doubt Russia's democratic development.
"I want to say that Russia is developing along a democratic path, this is without question so. No one should have any doubts about that.
The fact that, amidst political rivalry and some other domestic developments, we see things happen here that are typical of other countries, I do not see anything unusual in it.
We have rallies, opposition rallies. And people here have the right to express their point of view.
However, if people, while expressing their views, break the current legislation, the effective law in place, then of course, the law enforcement agencies try to restore order," Putin said in an interview with NBC News anchor Megyn Kelly.
The president noted that the Russian police force was not using "extreme measures" when dealing with rallies.
"I am calling your attention to something that I discussed recently when on a trip to France and in my discussions with other European colleagues.
Our police force, fortunately, so far, do not use batons, tear gas or any other extreme measures of instilling order, something that we often see in other countries, including in the United States," Putin said.
The president questioned whether anyone was entitled to teach Russians how to live.
"Speaking of opposition, let us recall the movement Occupy Wall Street.
Where is it now?
The law enforcement agencies and special services in the US have taken it apart, into little pieces, and have dissolved it.
I'm not asking you about how things stand in terms of democracy in the United States. Especially so that the electoral legislation is far from being perfect in the US.
Why do you believe you are entitled to put such questions to us and, mind you, do it all the time, to moralize and to teach us how we should live?" Putin asked.