Putin: Morals a Must for Russian Society

MOSCOW (RIA Novosti) — President Vladimir Putin called moral values in Russian society immutable and intransient in his annual State of the Nation address Monday.

"Russian society has always condemned immorality. In Russia, law and morals, politics and morality were traditionally recognized as close and comparable notions. In any case, their interconnection was a declared ideal," said.

"Despite all the well-known losses, the level of morals in both tsarist Russia and Soviet times was an important scale and criterion determining people’s reputation, both at their work and in society," Putin said.

"It is hardly possible to negate that for many centuries, such values as strong friendship, mutual assistance, comradery and reliability remained immutable and intransient values," he said.

He said that that modern Russian business cannot expect to be viewed as respectable without following these standards domestically and abroad.

"Many current Russian economic and political problems are rooted precisely in the sweeping majority of society’s mistrust of the upper class," he said.

Putin noted that corrupt officials and the growth of crime are a result of a trust deficit in Russian society.

"Russia will be prosperous only when the success of every individual will depend not only on his material standards, but also on his decency and his culture," Putin said.