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  Wednesday, July 8, 2020
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President Vladimir Putin said he supported the activities of such public organisations as Memorial
President Vladimir Putin said he supported the activities of such public organisations as Memorial. “Thank God we have such organisations that can and assume responsibility for pointing out mistakes to powers that be,” Putin said. “It’s bad if such organisations are used by some states against other states as a tool for achieving their political goals. By so doing these organisations discredit themselves.” He noted that there is the presidential Council for the Development of Civil Society in Russia, and some of the public organisations are involved in its work. “I am satisfied that I can hear their criticism of authorities first hand. We may or many agree with it, but we should listen to what these people have to say to authorities. As for Memorial, it participates in the Council and I meet with representatives of this organisation and some others may not as often I would like but quite regularly,” Putin said at a press conference after the talks with French President Nicholas Sarkozy. Putin said “there is nothing special” in that Sarkozy had chosen to meet with Memorial during his visit to Moscow. “He may meet with representatives of Memorial or any other organisation of his choosing,” the president said. Sarkozy noted that he had informed Putin about his plans. He said he would not teach anyone. “We understand the specificity of history. I have my own convictions, and I frankly stated them. Mr. Putin also spoke quite frankly. Both of us believe that friendship is when you say to each other what you think. And if we disagree on some issues, we have to look for solutions,” the French president said.
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