MOSCOW, April 25 (Xinhua) -- A soft approach to the economy and tough stands on corruption and terrorism featured in President Vladimir Putin's record-breaking near-5-hour live TV appearance Thursday.
Putin engaged in a detailed discussion with former Financial Minister Alexei Kudrin on ways to pilot the economy, and attributed the recent slowing to global financial problems and excessively tough internal fiscal-monetary policy.
"Tough measures in the economy without taking into account social consequences are not always justified, especially in our country, with our citizens having very modest incomes," Putin said.
Still, he said economic tasks set after his re-election last year were being implemented successfully.
"I am rather satisfied with how the work goes on," Putin said, mentioning a rise in salaries and pensions as major achievements during his first year of presidency.
Meanwhile, Putin rejected proposals to reshuffle the government. "This would bring about more harm than benefits," he said, adding the cabinet should be given more time to fulfill its missions.
As for the hot issue of an anti-corruption campaign, raised several times during the event, Putin vowed to defeat corruption which, he admitted, had exceeded "all imaginable levels" in the country.
"We are going to counter it (corruption) with the same steadiness as we suppress inflation. We will be defeating it to the best of our abilities," Putin said.
He said more than 800 high-ranking officials had been brought to justice for various corruption-related offenses in 2012.
Putin, during his first wide-ranging phone-in session with the public since returning to the Kremlin last May, also called on the West to join with Russia in countering terrorism instead of accusing it of being a hotbed of crime.
Extremism had no nationality, and Russia was also a target of international terrorism, Putin said.
"This tragedy must unite us in countering the common threats," he said, referring to the Boston Marathon bombing.
Commenting on Russia-West ties in general, Putin said it was not Moscow's fault relations with the West had worsened and their cooling started a decade ago.
The phenomenon could be traced back to the Western campaign in Iraq, while later events in Libya and other regions of the world just facilitated the cooling process, Putin said.
"Still, it doesn't mean we need not undertake measures to improve these relations," he said.
The president stressed Moscow sought improving relations with Western countries but Russia did not need to follow all Western social and moral standards when fostering ties with its Western partners.
He recommended Russia's Western partners scrap the Cold War mindset and move on to cultivate friendly ties.
"It is impossible to implement their standards in a country like Russia. So let's don't demand that from each other, let's respect each other, let's seek ways for better understanding," he said, pointing at relations between Russia and Germany and with the Netherlands as good examples.
Russians put up about four million questions for Putin for the event, the 11th during his three terms in the Kremlin.
In previous events, held in 2001-2003 and 2005-2011, Putin answered almost 700 questions in total. In 2011, he answered 88 questions ranging from domestic affairs to foreign policy.