The issue of democracy received much attention during the Russian-U.S. summit in Bratislava, President Vladimir Putin said following his meeting with U.S. President George W. Bush.
Mr Putin said it is his opinion that the international public does not fully understand what is happening in Russia, and it is this that gives rise to the concern expressed by Russia’s partners in the world. But there are no real grounds for such concern.
Russia made its choice in favour of democracy 14 years ago, without any pressure from outside, and the way Russian society thinks and feels today means there can be no return to totalitarianism.
Russia is committed to the same basic principles of democracy that are shared throughout the world, but at the same time, its modern institutions should be adapted to the current state of development of Russian society and to its history and traditions.
The efforts made to establish and consolidate democracy on Russian soil should not compromise the concept of democracy itself and should not lead to the state’s disintegration and reduce the people to poverty. On the contrary, democracy should make the state stronger and improve people’s lives, Mr Putin stressed.