Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia does not plan to impose restrictions on the use of the Internet. The restrictions, he added, may touch only the propaganda of suicide and pedophilia.
"We do not have any limitations associated with the self-expression of a human being, related to the use of modern technologies for one's own development, or for development of one's own business," Putin said at the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum.
"The restrictions have been introduced, but what are they about? They are about the prohibition of the propaganda of pedophilia, child pornography, and the propaganda of methods of suicide. Excuse me, but legal systems of other countries are full of such restrictions, and this applies to Europe and the United States," said Putin. Moreover, he said, such restrictions in those countries are much more stringent than in the Russian legislation.
Equating some bloggers to mass media complies with global trends in this area, and Russia simply closes loopholes in the law in this case, Putin said.
"This practice is used in European countries, in the UK and in Germany, the United States, and there is nothing unusual at this point. This is just a gap in our legislation that we are closing, and the application of these rules does not come contrary to world trends. Here, all is within the common trends," Putin said, answering questions at the plenary session of the St. Petersburg Economic Forum.
Russia has no plans to impose restrictions on the use of social networks, nor does it intend to criticize those who do it, Putin said. "First, we are not going to close anything. Secondly, we do not believe we have the right to criticize those who do it. In each case, there is a unique national aspect, and it is not up to us to judge what others do and how," the Russian president said, answering the question whether Russia could indeed ban Facebook, Twitter and their Russian analogues.
"We plan to develop modern means of communication. And I hope that we will never return to the time when the primary means of communication was a Kalashnikov rifle," said the president of the Russian Federation.
During the St. Petersburg Economic Forum, Putin made it clear to all present that Russia was tired of the debate with NATO about the deployment of the missile defense system of the alliance in dangerous proximity to Russian strategic objects.
"We are tired of this form of debate - there's no discussion," Putin said.
The head of state pointed out that those, who committed a coup in Ukraine, do not want to talk to Russia. "Here are our thoughts. The next step is Ukraine in NATO. They never ask us about it, nor do they conduct a dialogue with us. As experience of the past two decades shows - there's no dialogue, they only say - "none of your business, it doesn't concern you," Putin said.
According to him, the West can only assure Russia that the approach of NATO infrastructure to the Russian borders was not directed against Russia.
"Tomorrow, Ukraine may join NATO, and in the next few days, elements of U.S. missile defense system may appear in Ukraine. No one ever talks to us on this subject," concluded the president.
Vladimir Putin said that he had no idea about how the fate of Edward Snowden may evolve. He assured that the ex-CIA officer had not told anything to Russian security services.
"I do not even know. He is a young guy, I don't know how he is going to live. I'm saying this without any jokes or irony. For the time being, he is here, but then what?" Putin said, answering questions at the plenary session of the St. Petersburg Economic Forum.
"We only gave him shelter and that's all. He is not our agent, he has not exposed any secrets to us. Bad guy, he could have shared something. We still gave him shelter, but he says nothing. He reveals his information through the channels that he knows, when he deems it necessary to publish something," said Putin.
Putin added that if U.S. intelligence agencies had acted professionally, Edward Snowden would have been in prison a long time ago. "Why did they frighten the whole world? They frightened all countries. Snowden arrived at our transit zone, and then it turned out that nobody wanted to take him. If they hadn't scared anyone, he would have flown somewhere, and they would have caught him on the way to another country. He'd be steaming in prison for a long time," said Putin.
Putin continued: "They frightened everyone, he stayed with us in the transit area, and what do we do? Russia is not the country that delivers human rights defenders."
According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, what happened in the Ukraine was a coup that led to chaos and civil war.
"Whatever you call it - a revolution, not a revolution - this is a coup, with the use of force and militants," Putin said.
According to the president, one should be as accurate as possible when it comes to the institutions of emerging countries. "Otherwise, there will be chaos. And we can see it now in Ukraine," he said.
"Why was it necessary to do all that, if Yanukovych agreed to everything?" Putin said.
"One should have gone to the polls, and the people, whom they have in power now, would come to power, only legally. We, like idiots, would be paying 15 billion that we promised, keep low gas prices and continue to subsidize the economy of Ukraine further on," said the president.
Putin said that Moscow was ready to work with the government formed after the presidential election in Ukraine.
"We are still working with the people, who control the power today, but after the election, we will certainly work with the newly elected bodies," said the head of state, speaking at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum.
Putin said Moscow would like to see peace in Ukraine. "We are interested in seeing peace, order and tranquility in our - I mean no irony here - brotherly country of Ukraine," said the president.
Putin also said that Russia would respect the results of the presidential election in Ukraine. "We understand and see that the people in Ukraine want the country to come out of this protracted crisis. We also want, in the end, solace, and we will respect the choice of the Ukrainian people," said Putin.