Russian President Vladimir Putin has said it is essential for Russia to respect the past. "The resurrection of certain symbols of the Soviet era is related to that too," he said in an interview with the Greek TV companies NET-TV and MEGA on the eve of his visit to Greece. The text of the interview was contributed to RIA Novosti by the presidential press service. "A majority of Russian citizens as well as a majority of residents of other republics of the former Soviet Union have come through a tough experience after the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the experience of a psychological, economical and social nature. But gradually, on a new basis and on the basis of market economy and democracy, Russia -- I think it's becoming more and more evident - is acquiring the quality and role which it should be playing in the world," Putin said.