Putin: True democracy and civil society cannot be imported

22.10.2020, Moscow.

It is impossible to import real democracy and civil society, the Russian President Vladimir Putin said on October 22 at session of Valdai Discussion Club.

In the president’s opinion, imported models of democracy are similar to fiction deprived of internal content, “even a shadow of sovereignty.” In those states where such a scheme is implemented no one asks people’s opinion and leaders “are no more than vassals. “And for a vassal, as you know, it is the master who decides everything,” Putin noted.

The leader of the state believes that civil society will play a key role in the future development of Russia, and the citizens’ voice will be decisive. However, the acute question remains, whose voice the state should hear and “how to recognize whether it is really the voice of the people or is it a behind-the-scenes whisper? Or is it someone else’s loud screams that have nothing to do with our people and that then turn into hysterics?” said the president.

Putin noted that one had to face the fact that the “genuine public needs” had been replaced by the interests of a narrow social group or even external forces. He reminded that in Russia there was quite a long period when almost “the main source of establishment and financing of non-governmental organizations were foreign funds”.

The President said that not all such non-governmental organizations had selfish or bad intentions, but in any case, they “as a rule, remained foreign, outsiders and eventually reflected not Russian citizens’ interests, but of their foreign patrons.” In other words, they served as a means in the hands of strangers “with all the consequences which came with it.”

The leader of the state stated that “a strong, free, independent civil society is by definition nationally oriented and sovereign. Such a society may have different forms and directions, but it grows out of the ordinary people’s life, out of traditions of a concrete country, and not as a product of “abstract transnational mind behind which other people’s interests are hidden.”

Putin considers it a duty of the state to support people’s initiatives, to open new opportunities for them, which is the most important task for the government’s agenda for the coming decade.

Source: Rossa Primavera News Agency

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