‘Advice’ to Putin fails to convince

 

Sir, – We would like to take issue with your Editorial “Putin’s recipe for stagnation” (December 18th) in which you offer a “friendly advice” to the president of Russia on his retirement.

The case by The Irish Times might be amusing, but it is certainly not convincing. First, Russians (including the younger generation) are not in agreement with such scenario – according to independent pollsters, President Putin enjoys substantial support of the voters – 68 to 75 per cent.

Second, they support the president exactly for what he has been doing to fight corruption, entrench the rule of law, diversify and modernise economy – all that has been and remains a priority for the president.

The same priority is attached to the development of positive, mutually respectful relations with all countries, even with the “regimes” with the Cold War mindset (that is where the real “reset” is due).

As to “stifling free speech” it seems the Editorial writer did not watch the press conference on December 14th – it was a really open, no-subject-barred dialogue with the press (including opposition), televised live to the entire country. The transcript is available on official Kremlin website www.en.kremlin.ru. – Yours, etc,

VASILY VELICHKIN,

Press-secretary,

Embassy of the Russian

Federation in Ireland,

Dublin 14.