Vladimir Putin regularly talks with foreign journalists. But judging by the attempt of an Austrian journalist in a protocol interview to ask the Russian president about all aspects of world politics, the Western information field is sorely lacking in an alternative opinion. How can Russia remedy this situation?
Leaders of states on the eve of foreign visits, as a rule, give an interview to journalists from the country to which they are sent. This tradition has existed for many years, and Russia does not violate it.
Vladimir Putin chose Austria as his first country for his foreign trip after his reelection. The interview was taken, perhaps, by the most famous Austrian journalist Armin Wolf.
Wolfe 51 year, he works in various positions in the Austrian public broadcaster ORF from 1985 year and is one of the most titled journalists of this country. In addition, he is a popular microblogger, his account in "Twitter" is the most widely read in Austria.
It seems that Wolff himself did not expect that his interview with the Russian leader would become so popular - he writes with astonishment that 843 thousand people looked 52-minute conversation completely, and 1 244 000 - at least part, and adds: «Spassiba».
Recall that the population of Austria - 8,5 million people, thus, every tenth resident of this country spent almost an hour of personal time to find out the opinion of the Russian president on the actual problems of our time.
At the same time, Vladimir Putin did not say anything fundamentally new for the Russian viewer. Perhaps Armin Wolf believed that the sharp questions that he hurled at the president of Russia, before him, no one asked. But all this was already - and the restaurateur Prigozhin, whom Western propaganda made the main Internet troll and the main mercenary in Syria at the same time (interview to the American television channel NBC News), and Navalny as a clone of Saakashvili, and, of course, attempts to catch Putin at the word about the presence of Russian military in the Crimea or find out the conditions for a hypothetical "return" of the peninsula to Ukraine.
And Putin's bare torso on vacation is generally a favorite topic of Western journalists. The BBC dedicated a special investigation to this, and in the popular American show Saturday Night Live, the actor depicting Vladimir Putin always appears naked to the waist - Americans were so impressed.
In fact, Wolf's interview was an attempt to ask Putin for his opinion on most of the stamps of Western propaganda in one short protocol interview. It's no wonder that he did not have time to listen to the Russian president's answers from an Austrian journalist, the interviewer constantly interrupted the interviewee.
As the journalist Dmitry Smirnov estimated, only Wolf interrupted Putin 11 times. The Russian president even had to switch to German, reminding who asked questions and who answered. "Let me say, otherwise we will not have an interview, but a monologue on only one side - yours," Putin said to Wolf.
At the same time, it's hardly worth reproaching Wolff for the desire to "shove the unbearable" and ask the Russian president about absolutely everything.
The problem is that for us, the answers to most of the questions are generally obvious, we either heard them at a big press conference, or read an interview with NBC or another foreign publication.
And Austrian viewers do not know all this, that's why Wolff was so nervous and so in a hurry to ask as many questions as possible.
And judging by the unprecedented interest of the public, he tried not in vain. The Austrians, like other Europeans, are interested in an alternative point of view on what is happening in the world. But in general, the average European is more concerned with the news of domestic than foreign policy, so Putin's protocol interview on the eve of the visit is an extremely rare opportunity for them to hear the Russian leader's direct speech from the television screen rather than the various "interpretations" of television analysts who in all countries for rare exceptions are approximately the same.
It should be noted that the European officials are seriously concerned about Putin's visit to Austria. The DW publication publishes an interview with Austrian political scientist Gerhard Mangott, who is forced repeatedly to repeat to the journalist that, despite the fact that Vienna stands for the abolition of anti-Russian sanctions, she alone will not do this.
Mangotte also seems to be as casual and as something self-evident that "the United States is exerting pressure, they also tried to prevent the current visit of Vladimir Putin." Interference in the internal affairs of independent states? No, they did not.
As a result, DW achieves the opposite effect. Instead of demonstrating, as stated in the headline of the article, "Putin's goal is to make Austria Russia's lawyer in the EU", after reading the interview, there is a completely different feeling: the US presses hard on the European Union, while Austria, Hungary, Greece, Italy, Cyprus, Slovakia and a number of other EU countries consider sanctions "unreasonable and harmful" and do not hesitate to publicly speak about it.
The same is the case with the interview that Armin Volf took from Vladimir Putin.
Despite a series of accusatory questions, the Russian president holds confidently, answers absolutely all questions, and the only thing that provokes his dislike is the constant attempts of an Austrian journalist to enter a monologue, not a dialogue.
Indeed, Putin is not used to being interrupted, especially with such frequency.
Perhaps this interview is a signal to both the Western media and the Kremlin press service that the Western public badly misses Vladimir Putin. The schedule of the Russian president is not rubber, and there is hardly an opportunity to envisage a significant increase in the number of interviews with foreign media. But, perhaps, it makes sense to divide the existing annual press conference into two parts - for Russian journalists and for foreign ones.
In any case, the policy of information openness justifies itself and brings visible results.