President Putin meets children from Mordovia

Vladimir Putin spoke for a balanced approach to tobacco and alcohol advertising in Russia on Monday. Such advertising should exist "within reasonable limits", but it cannot be prohibited, said the Russian president when meeting the editorial board of the wall newspaper in the children's summer camp "Zelyonaya Roshcha" in Mordovia, a republic in central-eastern Russia.

A girl from the board said it was a pity that sport received far less propaganda in the country than tobacco and alcohol.

"We must offer you an alternative to alcohol and tobacco, and if it appears, young people will not have time for alcohol, tobacco, and drugs," the president said.

Putin was also asked whether he would like to go back to his childhood. He "sets himself only tasks that can be fulfilled", the president answered.

In the next issue of the newspaper the board intends to propose collecting humanitarian aid - clothes, textbooks, books - for children of their age who suffered from the flood in South Russia, they told Putin. The initiative will be gratefully accepted in the South, the president assured.

Children from the regions that suffered from the flood will be sent for a vacation, but on September 1st they will have to go to school, so the aid will be relevant, he said. The board members also told the president about the poll they conducted among children in the camp. They asked in which country the respondents would like to live and why.

60 per cent of them chose Russia, 16 per cent - the USA, others named Italy, Japan, Portugal. They believe Portugal is the richest country, in Italy and Japan people play football well, and those who chose Russia said they were patriots.

Putin in his turn pointed out that all together they should make the group that prefers Russia the largest. Yet, people should choose Russia thinking that it is the best, he added.

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