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  Tuesday, September 17, 2019
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Vladimir Putin believes that coverage of the recent opposition protests in the Russian mass media proves that the country does have a freedom of press
Russian President Vladimir Putin believes that coverage of the recent opposition protests in the Russian mass media proves that the country does have a freedom of press. "This is the evidence of press freedom, for lack of which we are often criticized," Mr. Putin said at the joint press conference with George W. Bush. "As to statements that there is constant struggle between the authorities and the press and critical discussions about the authorities, this is normal, this is the sign of a democratic society," he said. A Russian journalist asked the President why he kept silent when accused of lack of press freedom in Russia, although in the US the CNN was firing journalists [recently several journalists were fired for criticizing the action of the American army in Iraq]. "First of all, what do you mean by keeping silent, do I keep silent on any problems?" Mr. Putin asked. "I am not a minister for propaganda. Secondly, we discuss all the problems quite openly, today we have talked about these problems both in Russia and the US," he said. At the same time he pointed out that press freedom in the US was helped by earlier created mechanisms. "Obviously, the US has many mechanisms to support press freedom," he said. Mr. Putin thanked Mr. Bush for his willingness to attend the Moscow celebrations devoted to the 60th anniversary of the victory in World War II. "I want to thank George Bush who has already accepted the invitation to attend the celebrations," the Russian leader said. He said he saw it as "a natural display of respect towards the historical memory and the Allies' relationship during World War II."
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