I would even say that once, in Soviet times, we so much frightened the world that this resulted in the creation of large military-political blocs. Did we benefit from that?
Certainly, not. We thought, for some strange reason ten years ago, that everyone loved us heartily and that they all should toil, while we would reap the fruits – I mean the G-8 countries. That we did not even have to use the fork, that we only had to open our mouths and pies would jump into them of their own volition.
Putin interview with journalists from Nezavisimaya Gazeta, ORT and RTR. Interview 24 Dec 2000. Text published Nezavisimaya Gazeta 26 Dec 2000.