Medvedev: Russia will ‘protect its citizens’ always and everywhere (19)
Russia would defend the rights and interests of its citizens and protect them against harassment by local authorities always and everywhere, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Monday.
“Protecting the rights and interests of Russian citizens abroad remains our most important task (…), be it protecting a mother who had her child taken away from her by another country’s authorities, be it Russian schools forced to switch to teaching in a foreign language, or helping our citizens who were unfairly convicted in another state,” he said at a world forum titled “In unity with Russia”.
Addressing the attendees, the head of the Russian government said that “we will defend your rights and interests in any part of the world, protect from discrimination and harassment by local authorities and organizations.”
“Russia is one of the strongest and most influential countries in the world. We are capable of protecting our people, our citizenship, our history and culture. I want you to feel every minute that you have Russia standing behind you, which never abandons its own people, like it did not in South Ossetia and Crimea,” the premier said.
Russia has intervened in its neighbor states on several occasions, including the invasion of territories formally belonging to Georgia and Ukraine. In the case of Crimea, it used the pretext of defending the interests of its citizens and following their wish to reunite with Russia to occupy and incorporate the peninsula into Russia. Medvedev’s statements, especially the last one quoted above, make it very clear that Putin’s government is far from giving up this strategy.