Here are some extracts from a wide ranging speech Russian President Vladimir Putin made to the Valdai International Discussion Club in the Novgorod Region on September 19, 2013. I think this is interesting insight into the thinking of one of the worlds important leaders.
For us (and I am talking about Russians and Russia), questions about who we are and who we want to be are increasingly prominent in our society. We have left behind Soviet ideology, and there will be no return. Proponents of fundamental conservatism who idealise pre-1917 Russia seem to be similarly far from reality, as are supporters of an extreme, western-style liberalism.
It is evident that it is impossible to move forward without spiritual, cultural and national self-determination. Without this we will not be able to withstand internal and external challenges, nor we will succeed in global competitions. And today we see a new round of…
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