Vladimir Putin has claimed that he has never made a mistake because God made him perfect. In a rare interview with Italian paper Corriere della Serra, the Russian president said that God “built my life in a way I have nothing to regret”.
Putin also claimed that the reason his political opponents rarely appear on TV is because they don’t have anything interesting to say, and that Russia’s deteriorating relations with the West in the wake of the Ukraine crisis was “not out choice”.
Speaking as he was due to meet Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi at the Expo 2015 fair in Milan, Putin was in a typically confident mood. He told the paper it was “in the interests of the Italian people… to maintain friendly relations with Russia”.
Addressing Western concerns over Ukraine, he added: “It was not we who introduced restrictions on trade and economic activities. Rather, we were the target and we had to respond with retaliatory, protective measures.”
However it was his answer to the final question that will raise the most eyebrows. Corriere editor Luciano Fontana asked the Russian leader: “Is there an action that you most regret in your life, something that you consider a mistake and wouldn’t want to repeat ever again?”
Putin reportedly pondered the question for a little while before he responded: “I’ll be totally frank with you. I cannot recollect anything of the kind. It appears that the Lord built my life in a way that I have nothing to regret.”
Despite his visits to Western European becoming increasingly rare, yesterday was Putin’s second trip to Italy in eight months. However, the country’s foreign minister Paolo Gentiloni said there is no chance of Italy changing its mind on Ukraine.
“Italy has been combining loyalty to its allies with a special relationship with Russia,” he said.