Russia "has proven itself to be a democratic state open to the world," Russian President Vladimir Putin has said. In an interview given to the Greek newspapers Eleftherotypia and To Vima and distributed by the Russian president's press service, Putin said that over the last ten years not only Russia but the whole world has changed. He emphasised that among the reasons why the world has changed was that "Russia has made a choice in favour of a democratic and rule-of-law state." The last decade was very difficult for Russia, the president admitted. "We rebuilt the entire archaic command economy and social system actually from scratch. It was difficult not only economically and socially, people had to revise their goals in life and get used to a new, alien world which they often could not understand," Putin said. Actually, every Russian family experienced such stress. "Importantly, all that was not in vain," the head of state emphasised. The Russian economy "is developing fast, actively integrating into the world economy." Besides, the president said, the last decade has produced a "new generation which cannot imagine life without democratic values. This generation is looking into the future. It has no experience of life in a totalitarian and anti-market society that would make it gravitate towards the past."
Near the United Nations Glass Palace in New York, there is a metallic sculpture entitled "Evil Defeated by Good", representing Saint George transfixing a dragon with his lance. It was donated by the USSR in 1990 to celebrate the INF Treaty concluded with the USA in 1987