There was a lot of hooping and hollering about what Vesti did to that interview from Fox News. If you think that was good, check out the number CNN did to Putin’s interview. Yasha Lavine breaks it down clean in “Is CNN Getting Kicked out of Russia?” Here are some of the spliced film CNN left on the cutting room floor.
Matthew Chance: But it’s been no secret either that for years you’ve been urging the West to take more seriously Russia’s concerns about international issues. For instance, about NATO’s expansion, about deployment of missile defense systems in eastern Europe. Wasn’t this conflict a way of demonstrating that in this region, it’s Russia that’s the power, not NATO and certainly not the United States?
Vladimir Putin: Of course not. What is more, we did not seek such conflicts and do not want them in the future.
That this conflict has taken place—that it broke out nevertheless—is only due to the fact that no one had heeded our concerns.
I think both you and your—our—viewers today will be interested to learn a little more about the history of relations between the peoples and ethnic groups in this regions of the world. Because people know little or nothing about it.
If you think that this is unimportant, you may cut it from the program. Don’t hesitate, I wouldn’t mind.
Putin the anti-Stalinist:
Therefore, those who insist that those territories must continue to belong to Georgia are Stalinists: They defend the decision of Josef Vissarionovich Stalin. [It was Stalin who first split up Ossetia and gave the southern half to Georgia.]
Putin the caring:
For us, it is a special tragedy, because during the many years that we were living together the Georgian culture—the Georgian people being a nation of ancient culture — became, without a doubt, a part of the multinational culture of Russia….[C]onsidering the fact that almost a million, even more than a million Georgians have moved here, we have special spiritual links with that country and its people. For us, this is a special tragedy.
Putin the peaceful:
You and I are sitting here now, having a quiet conversation in the city of Sochi. Within a few hundred kilometers from here, U.S. Navy ships have approached, carrying missiles whose range is precisely several hundred kilometers. It is not our ships that have approached your shores; it’s your ships that have approached ours. So what’s our choice?
We don’t want any complications; we don’t want to quarrel with anyone; we don’t want to fight anyone. We want normal cooperation and a respectful attitude toward us and our interests. Is that too much?
Putin the conscientious business man:
Construction of the first gas pipeline system was started during the 1960s, at the height of the Cold War, and for all those years, from the 1960s until this day, Russia has been fulfilling its contract obligations in a very consistent and reliable way, regardless of the political situation.
We never politicize economic relations, and we are quite astonished at the position of some U.S. administration officials who travel to European capitals trying to persuade the Europeans not to buy our products, natural gas for example, in a truly amazing effort to politicize the economic sphere. In fact, it’s quite pernicious.
It’s true that the Europeans depend on our supplies but we too depend on whoever buys our gas. That’s interdependence; that’s precisely the guarantee of stability.
You can see the full interview broadcast on Russian TV here.