Putin sees domestic stability as his main achievement
MOSCOW. Dec 19 (Interfax) - Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the terror attacks at Dubrovka Theater and in Beslan were his biggest nightmares as president.
"As to the most vivid events and the most difficult ones, I've already talked about that. The most difficult, of course, were the big terror attacks: Beslan, I will never forget, and the Dubrovka attack," Putin said at his big press conference on Thursday.
He said stability was the main achievement of his leadership. "The situation we are in now is one of internal stability, of the confidence that our country will continue to develop stably. This, probably, is the main thing. The economy has changed dramatically," Putin said.
Russia has one of the world's lowest sovereign debts; in the 1990s Russia's inflation rate was between 200% and 300%, but now it is at 3.25%. "They have simply forgotten about it, already forgotten what it was. It's a completely different economy," he said.
There are still many unsolved economic problems, "chief among them is to raise labor productivity and, based on that, increase the pace of economic growth. Still, that's nothing compared to what used to be," Putin said.
Russia of the early 2000s and modern day Russia are two different countries, he said. "I am not even talking about security issues. Truth be told, we need to call things bluntly by their proper name. Before 2006, there was still active fighting in the Caucasus, with tanks, aviation, and other heavy weaponry," Putin said.
Asked whether he could be considered a historical personality, Putin said: "That's what the next generation will determine, whether the answer is yes or no. I think that for people, for us, for our contemporaries, let alone myself, this is not a question for me to answer. It is for people to assess in the future, what has been done for the country, perhaps, something has not been done," Putin said.
In this instance, public opinion is the best barometer, he said.