In his annual press conference, the President of Russia Vladimir Putin has distinguished between freedom of expression and insults to religious freedoms. He described insults to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as a “violation of religious freedom and the violation of the sacred feelings of people who profess Islam.”
Russian News Agency TASS reported that in his annual press conference, President Putin commented on the need for artistic freedom while also pointing out that it has its limits, and that it must not adversely affect other freedoms. As another example, the Russian president referred to posting photos of Nazis on websites such as the one titled “The Immortal Regiment” which is dedicated to Soviet soldiers who lost their lives in the Second World War.
In the view of the Russian president, such provocations invite extremist backlash. He referred to the attack and massacre after French magazine Charlie Hebdo published cartoons of the Prophet (PBUH).
“Russia has evolved as a multi-ethnic and multi-confessional state, so Russians are used to respecting each other’s traditions,” Putin said
In some other countries, this respect comes in short supply, Putin said.