Pressure from West helped Putin win the election – Kremlin spokesman
Western policy aimed at weakening Vladimir Putin’s domestic support through pressuring Russia has backfired, the Kremlin’s spokesman told RT in an exclusive interview. Dmitry Peskov said this was evidenced by the election results.
The policies were a miscalculation on the part of Western politicians who failed to understand what moves the Russian people, Peskov told RT’s Sophie Shevardnadze. “Russia, it’s an outstanding country with its own traditions, historical traditions and historical mood of people. When they face any pressure coming from the outside they unite and they unite around a strong leader.”
This has happened many times throughout Russian history, and the current surge of popularity of Vladimir Putin is no different, he said. Russian people can’t tolerate “craziness” coming from other countries so they rallied around Putin, he argued.
In the March 18 election, Putin garnered 76.69 percent of the vote, according to the final results of Russia’s Central Election Commission. The record result was “quite unexpected” for Putin, Peskov said.
Peskov said historically hostility towards Russia rose in periods when the country grew in power. “Russia was treated as a rival, as an enemy for lots of centuries,” he said. “The more Russia is rising, the more uncomfortable [some Western nations] feel, and the more tough they start to behave in international relations. And they are ready to jeopardize international law, the basics of international relations, free trade and commerce. They are ready to forget about fair trade, they are ready to forget about WTO rules. They are ready to forget about every rule when they want to suppress Russia.”
He added that Russia currently feels threatened by its foreign opponents in more ways than one, including militarily. But it hopes that “sober voices” in the West would prevail and that Russia is eventually accepted as an inalienable part of Europe that can greatly benefit the common security and prosperity of the continent. This will only require acknowledging that “Russia’s voice has to be taken into account,” he said.
Watch the full version of RT’s exclusive interview with Dmitry Peskov