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Russian President Vladimir Putin has spoken out against the idea of limiting Hollywood films’ access to Russian screens.
“It wouldn’t be correct to limit our consumer when it comes to products people generally want to have,” Putin was quoted as saying during an event of the political movement National People’s Front by the online newspaper Gazeta.ru, “and films belong to those major products.”
Putin’s comments were in response to film director Yuri Kara, an ardent advocate of banning Hollywood films in Russia.
“I believe that next year, [Hollywood films] need to be either completely banned, or a 50 percent quota should be introduced for Russian films,” Kara said earlier, addressing Putin. The director added that Americans “assault” Russia, while “Hollywood is making billions of rubles” in Russia.
Responding to Kara, Putin said that Russian distributors and TV networks should still pay more attention to the quality of movies they pick and avoid U.S. and Western films whose quality is dubious.
The idea of introducing restrictions on Hollywood fare has been floated in Russia over the last few months, since relations between Russia and the West soured over the situation in Ukraine and mutual sanctions were introduced.
Another proponent of limiting Hollywood films’ access to Russian viewers is veteran director Stanislav Govorukhin, who was Putin’s chief of staff during his reelection campaign two years ago.
However, many other people in the Russian film industry condemned the idea, warning that any restrictions on Hollywood movies, which are now responsible for about 80 percent of the Russian box office, not to mention a complete ban, would lead to a collapse of the industry.
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