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Almazbek Atambayev: Putin is a person that knows how to listen

«Putin is a person that knows how to listen,» Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev said in an interview to TIME magazine.

Answering a question about relations with the Russian president, the head of state noted that they became friends.

«I actually think that Putin’s image in the West has been demonized in some way. If you look at Russia today, there are many things that are hard to imagine happening in neighboring countries. There are websites that openly criticize Putin, and nobody is being dragged away at night like they were during Stalin,» the president said.

Putin is a person that knows how to listen. I’ve debated a lot with him and in the end when I was right, he would accept my opinion. That’s why we became friends, I guess because very few people debate with him. We debate even now sometimes. He’s a very smart person with a broad knowledge of things.

Almazbek Atambayev

According to the head of state, «instead of demonizing Putin, major powers and their leaders have to find common ground because when major powers quarrel, then something like North Korea happens. And that poses a real threat to all humanity.»