MOSCOW, December 26. . Russian President Vladimir Putin is confident that culture should stay out of politics and thus may bridge nations even if their relations hit a low.
“It’s desirable to keep culture out of politics. Then it may be used as a link-up between the nations and countries, even if their relations have become strained,” Putin told a meeting of the Presidential Council for Culture and the Arts on Friday. “But just if no-one tries to employ culture for the interests of politics.” Highlighting the events in Ukraine’s culture, Putin said, “Oles Buzina [a Ukrainian writer] was shot dead in the street for no reason,” Putin said. “And many of similar cases have occurred in Ukraine, in particular the expropriation of church buildings that should belong to the Moscow Patriarchate.” Putin dubbed the exchanges of politicians between Ukraine and Georgia events from “the circus sphere”, having in mind Georgia’s former President Mikheil Saakashvili who is ruling the Ukrainian Odessa region now. “I would say, art representatives from the circus sphere. Very bright, nothing to add,” he said.
At the meeting, Putin was informed on criminal proceedings against the director of the state-funded Library of Ukrainian Literature in Moscow, Natalya Sharina, who is charged with fanning ethnic hatred and strife. The president said he had never heard about the case and Sharina’s house arrest and promised to look into the case. “The library must not be lost at any means,” Putin said noting that ethnic Ukrainians make up a considerable section of Russia’s population. “I strongly believe that essentially, Russians and Ukrainians are one nation,” he concluded.