The Russian president in the TASS special project Top Officials
In the TASS special project Top Officials, Vladimir Putin talks about healthy lifestyle, the "fifth column" and oil prices "plot" and argues with Russian philosopher Nikolay Berdyayev
On health, wrong statement and the other side of the coin
- What’s your health status now, Vladimir Vladimirovich?
- All worries are in foes’ dreams!
- The foes are making hints…
- Really? It’s the first time I hear about it. What are they saying? Just fantasying?
- I won’t retell it to you. As a matter of fact, I’ve come to the firsthand source.
- Let them think this way. It’ll make them relaxed and will bring us benefits, too.
- But this isn’t idle curiosity, you know. The country’s health depends on your physical, moral and psychological condition. In a way…
- Do they call into question my bodily or psychic status?
- Their assumptions differ.
- I’m OK, all’s fine… And what sport are you doing?
- No sport for quite some time. Only sports on TV.
- That’s bad. No, TV surfing is no sport… And work requires certain energy, strength and physical activity.
- But why did you ask about it? Just because you…
- I do sports regularly.
- On a daily basis?
- Exactly. Absolutely on a daily basis. Frankly, though, I stopped doing it during trips. When the flight is long and the time difference is big you don’t sleep yourself out...
- By the way, do you adapt easily to local time zones or do you live by the Moscow time?
- I don’t adapt well. And when you’ve gotten adapted, it’s time to return home… Therefore, I try to live mainly by the Moscow time but long trips make it impossible, of course.
- Let’s go back to the issue I started with. Vyacheslav Volodin (first deputy chief of the presidential staff) said at the Valdai Forum, “No Putin, no Russia.” But you later said that the statement was absolutely wrong.
- Yes. If a person thinks of essence and results of his work, as well as interests of people, then even a mistake does not look so terrible
- But this was a formula having a particular connotation, nowadays at least. Many people inside and outside of the country associate Russia with you personally.
- I think that’s natural. The head of state, person number one in a nation is always associated with his country in one way or another. And not only in Russia. The individual is elected by direct secret balloting, people have delegated him certain powers, he is charged with conducting policy on people’s behalf. And, of course, the nation expects a definite conduct from its leader. The voters proceed from the assumption that they elected the head of state and trusted him and he will meet their expectations, defend their interests and struggle to improve their living in the economy, in the social sphere, in the international arena, and in the matters of security. There are many tasks. There is nothing unusual or anything specifically Russian in the fact associations of the kind spring up.
- Still very few leaders can boast the popularity ratings you have.
- That’s true but the problem is you’ll be unable to work if you think about ratings all the time. The worst thing of all is to get enslaved by contemplation of one’s ratings. As soon as someone starts doing it, he immediately turns into a loser. Instead of engaging in real business and moving forward with no fear of stumbling along the way, one who thinks about ratings abandons all activity. Then the rating begins a downhill slide. Vice versa, if a person thinks of the essence and results of his work, as well as the interests of the people, then even a mistake does not look so terrible. And he can speak of it straightforwardly and confess his blunder. And you know, this won’t affect the rating much, people will understand perfectly well the true intensions, sincerity and honesty, and especially, a direct dialogue. It is really valuable and people will always appreciate it.