Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that democracy in his country should become more transparent. Speaking at an event hosted by the Kremlin, the 69-year-old called for increased popular participation in government mechanisms. It is pertinent to note that Putin has been widely accused of restricting free speech in his country and arresting those who criticize him.
“I am convinced that to be strong, independent and competitive, we must refine and make more just and transparent the mechanisms of citizen participation in the life of the country, including the mechanisms of government by the people, direct democracy, the role of the people in solving vital problems for society and its citizens,” the Russian leader said at the “Strong Ideas for a New Era” forum organized by the Agency for Strategic Initiative, according to TASS.
In addition, the Kremlin leader stressed the importance of sovereignty and said that it is “the freedom of national development and therefore of each individual separately.” He underlined that sovereignty depended above all on a responsible, active and nation-oriented society. Notably, safeguarding the sovereignty of the Russian Federation was one of Putin’s main arguments before attacking Ukraine in February.
“We can only achieve the results we need by relying on the creative potential of our people,” Putin stressed. Speaking at the forum, the Kremlin leader assured that “all his constructive and sensible proposals will receive support.” He added that it was “necessary to fully engage the mechanism for the implementation of socially relevant citizen projects set up by the government, Vnesheconombank and the Agency for Strategic Initiatives with the participation of the regions.”
‘Putin is trying to divide Europe’: Olaf Scholz
Besides sabotaging democratic rights, Putin has been accused of several other things. Recently, Putin reportedly feared that a “spark of democracy” was spreading across Russia amid the war in Ukraine. Talk to Munchner Merkur newspaper, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz warned that Putin was trying to divide Europe and return the world to the divided phase through influence.
“The Russian President must accept that there exists in his neighborhood a community of democracies of law which is getting closer and closer…”, declared the German Chancellor. “He clearly fears that the spark of democracy will spread in his country,” he added.