On April 7, Vladimir Putin participated in the work of the forum of the All-National People's Front "Truth and Justice." The Q&A format of the meeting made it a full-fledged press conference, at which Putin talked about a variety of issues.
Putin answered a question about the infamous "Panama Papers" - another act of media warfare against Russia. Putin was asked about both the offshore companies and cellist Sergei Roldugin, who appears to be one of the main figures in the Panama documents.
Putin spoke contemptuously about the content of the papers. "They found my friends and acquaintances, so it means that they had dug up something to make up a story about a friend of the Russian president that has a corruption constituent. Which one exactly? None of the kind," Putin said.
Putin said that his friend Sergei Roldugin was a "brilliant musician" and added: "I am proud of people like Sergei Pavlovich, both as my friends and as people in general."
Political analyst Gleb Kuznetsov noted that Putin was very interested in discussing internal life of the country, "He was discussing daily life in Russia with interest, stressing out that one should not make any sudden movements at this point."
According to Kuznetsov, the tone that the president set for the meeting was "Russia's return from war." Putin was more focused on internal problems - political economic and social issues.
When someone asked two questions at once about Syria and education, Putin said: "Let's start with a more important thing - education." He answered questions about collection agencies, cable television, deforestation, maternity capital, freedom of the media and primaries.
Speaking about primaries, Putin paid attention to what was happening in the Russian society among common people.
"We introduce this preliminary vote as a tool to solve several problems. Firstly, it makes the whole life of social organizations and political parties more transparent and brings it closer to people. We need to feel what is happening in the society. I very much hope that this system will produce the people who are interested and willing to work for the society, in the interests of the society," Putin said.
According to Director General of the Agency for Political and Economic Communications, member of the Supreme Council of United Russia, Dmitry Orlov, Putin spoke about the "change of eras in the political life of the country and called for political openness: "The era when lists of candidates would be drawn up behind the scenes, when the system would be hidden from voters, is gone. Now everything should be open to both voters and party elites."
The forum touched upon international issues as well. One of the key subjects was the recent nuclear security summit in the USA, in which Russia refused to participate. Western officials claimed that Russia was isolating itself even further with such a move. However, Putin stated that Russia refused because the Americans try to move Russia aside from the decision-making process. The topics of the forum consisted of five groups, and Russia was allowed to take part in the work of only one of them.
"Excuse me, but such a major nuclear power as Russia can not participate in that event without being able to show influence on making final decisions," Putin said.
"For the Russian people, the feeling of patriotism and national identity is very important - this is something that European countries have been losing, unfortunately. We have it inside us. We have it in our hearts - our love for the Fatherland. It is important what I am about to say. One of the main components of our national identity, one of our values and ideas is patriotism," Putin said.
Many in Europe believe that the United States cannot be trusted after four years of Donald Trump's presidency