Putin on Russophobia in the West
At the meeting with the heads of international press agencies, President Putin was first asked by TASS Director General Sergei Mikhailov to comment on the Russophobia in the West. Mikhailov noted that it was often quite humorous (he said that the Baltic countries "have even started suspecting that the popular children's cartoon Masha i Medved could be used as a tool in hybrid war" since Putin had met with the cartoon makers), but added that "excesses of this kind no longer raise a smile and... are even becoming a threat to stability in the world."
Putin responded that the Russophobia was, "in some countries, simply going beyond all bounds." He said this was caused by the fact that the "monopolists" do not like seeing "the emergence of a multipolar world," which is in part "due to Russia's efforts to stand up for its interests, for its legitimate interests," while trying to "contain Russia and limit its lawful desire to protect its national interests. They do this through all kinds of actions that are outside the framework of international law, including economic restrictions. Now, they see that this is not working and has produced no results. This irritates them and rouses them into using other methods to pursue their aims and tempts them to up the stakes. But we do not go along with these attempts, do not offer pretexts for action. They therefore need to invent pretexts out of nowhere."
He said he was optimistic that this would not last long, that there was a "very clear change in the situation," as people recognize that it is "counterproductive and harmful to all."