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The Interpreter
Russian-to-English translation journal, with original analysis and commentary on Russia's foreign & domestic policy.
TV Rain Selects Most-Discussed Quotations from Putin's Speech
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President Vladimir Putin spoke at the Valdai International Discussion Club today October 24. His address can be read here in English.

There was also a live-blog and commentary in Russian by here and a report from Reuters here.

This videotape has English dubbed over the Russian:

The independent TV Rain selected some of Putin's most-discussed quotes, which The Interpreter has translated below:

On Crimea

"Perhaps what is allowed Jupiter is not allowed the bull. But I want to say that the bear is not going to ask permission from anyone. Generally, in our country he is considered lord of the taiga. He is not comfortable in other zones. But he will never give up the taiga to anyone."

"Ukraine is another state. In fact, election precincts can be opened up outside the borders of the country in which the elections are taking place so that the citizens of that country who live abroad can take part in the ballot."

On Russia's Involvement in the Flight of Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych

"He left and took out the law-enforcers with him. He's a fine one, now....I will not hide it. We helped Yanukovych make his way to Crimea, which at that time was part of Ukraine...Yanukovich asked us to get him out to Russia, which we did."

On Ukraine and the Ukrainian Conflict

"If Ukraine wants to preserve its territorial integrity, it shouldn't cling to some village. It must cease the bloodshed and arrange a dialogue with the southeast."

"If someone once again is tempted to try to use force for the final solution of the Ukrainian conflict, he will drive it into a dead end."

"Ukraine is an example of the kind of conflicts that have influences on the general global correlation of forces, but it is far from the last."

On the Thesis 'If There is Putin, There is Russia; If There is No Putin There is No Russia."

"Louis XIV, the Sun King, said 'France -- that is I,' and it is an entirely incorrect thesis ... For me, Russia is life. It is an obvious fact. I cannot imagine myself without Russia not for a second."

[Actually, Louis XIV said "l'etat c'est moi" - "the state, that is I"--The Interpreter.]

"Russia of course can get along without such people as me."

On Himself

"The greatest nationalist in Russia -- that is I. But the most correct nationalism is the arrangement of actions and policy such that it goes to the welfare of the people."

On Russia

"We don't intend to put together some sort of blocs and get dragged into an 'exchange of blows.' There are no grounds for the claims that Russia is trying to establish some sort of empire for itself, encroaching on the sovereignty of its neighbors. Russia does not demand for itself any special, exceptional place in the world. Respecting the interests of others, we just want to have our interests taken into account and our position respected as well."

"We don't have a wish to return to the totalitarian past. This is a dead end for development."

On the US

"I don't think that the US represents a threat to us. I think that the 'policy of the ruling circles' of the USA is a mistake. It contradicts our interests and undermines trust in the USA. And in that sense it deals a certain blow to the USA. It undermines trust in the USA as one of the global leaders in the economy and politics."

On Europe

"If we, let us say, completely cease our deliveries of energy to EU countries, do we want that? Of course not. Why would we do that, when this is a good client who pays?  But can we imagine that this could happen due to the will of our partners in Europe? I have a hard time believing this...Rejecting Russian gas will kill the competitiveness of Europe's economy. I don't even know what kind of colony Europe would have to be in order to embark on this. I think that common sense will reign and it will not reach that point."

"Why are they insulting Ukraine with subsidies of $40 million dollars, let then give at least $1.5 billion."

On Protests

"Revolution is bad. We have already become fed up in the 20th century with these revolutions. Evolution is what we need."

"'Occupy Wall Street' was strangled at its root. And no one says that they don't like them. They do like them, but this movement was strangled. You have to give them their due, they work well."

"I don't regard mass demonstrations harshly, I harshly and negatively regard violations of the law... Mass events, demonstrations are a totally legitimate means of expression of one's opinion and struggle for one's interests. But this must all be done within the framework of the law."