Excerpt from President Vladimir Putin’s answers to journalists’ questions following a meeting of the Presidential Council for Science and Education, 23 November 2016
Question: Mr President, the European parliament has passed a resolution against Russian media outlets, naming RT and Sputnik as dangerous. What is your view on this?
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: I do not know anything about this yet. I know that this discussion was going on there, but this is the first I have heard about them passing a resolution. This is news for me.
What can I say? These attempts continue, they keep trying to teach us democracy. We keep hearing from our teachers that the worst way to deal with your opponents is to ban something. They tell us that this goes against the norms and principles of democracy. The best road is always that of open discussion and using this discussion to present vivid and convincing arguments in defence of your point of view.
If what you say is true and they have passed this resolution, this suggests that we are witnessing a clear degradation (in the political sense) of the concept of democracy in Western society, in this case, at the level of the European parliament.
I certainly hope that common sense will prevail however, and we will not see any actual restrictions. As for our journalists who promoted this influential European body to take such decisions, judging by the situation, we can congratulate them on working so actively and with such talent and results.