Dalai-lama: Putin seems to want to "rebuild the Berlin Wall"
Tibet's exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama criticized Russia's President Vladimir Putin as "self-centred" in a German newspaper interview on Sunday, saying Putin seems to want to "rebuild the Berlin Wall".
"His attitude is: 'I, I, I'," the Dalai Lama said, pointing out that Putin had served as Russian president, then prime minister and then president again.
"That's a bit too much," he told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper. "This is very self-centred."
The Buddhist leader also had more criticism for Russia, now in the worst standoff with the West since the Cold War, than for China, which has ruled Tibet since its 1950 invasion.
"China and Russia, these are two very different cases," said the Dalai Lama, voicing hope that "the modern world supports China becoming a democratic country".
"We had become accustomed (to the fact) that the Berlin Wall has fallen," he said, alluding to the shattering of the Communist bloc begun 25 years ago.
Now, President Putin seems to want to rebuild it. But he is hurting his own country by doing this. Isolation is suicide for Russia."