News24

Putin - only small mistakes in 13 years

2012-12-20 20:31

Moscow - Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that looking back on his 13 years in the top job, he could not recall any major mistakes that he would like to correct.

"I don't see any such major systemic mistakes that I would now want to turn back or somehow correct," Putin said.

"Probably there were mistakes, but to say that they were systemic - to say that now as I look back, I would definitely want to correct something?" Putin queried after being asked whether he was ready to admit to any mistakes since becoming prime minister in 1999 and then assuming the presidency the next year.

"I am now thinking and I say absolutely sincerely, if there had been such a thing, I would say so," Putin said at a marathon end-of-year news conference in Moscow, his first after returning to the Kremlin in May.

He conceded that "we did not develop some things well enough.

"We did some things at the wrong time. Especially during the crisis, some decisions that we took did not work as effectively as we thought."

He recalled only state guarantees, a measure to fight the economic crisis, saying they "did not work as we considered necessary."

He quoted the Bible, however, telling the journalists present: "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone."