/ Go to the mediabankRussian President Vladimir Putin speaks by video conference to officials from Crimea, March 17, 2023. / Go to the mediabankInternationalIndiaAfricaST. PETERSBURG (Sputnik) – Art should be kept out of politics, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday during a meeting with renowned Russian conductor and director of the Mariinsky Theater Valery Gergiev. “I won’t speak about today’s situation in the world and arts. I deliberately do not want to dwell on all of this here,” Putin said at a meeting with Gergiev in the Mariinsky Theater as the conductor was celebrating his 70th birthday.”On the contrary, I want to note that art is out of politics. That is the most important thing.”Gergiev, in turn, shared his plans with Putin to closely work with his Chinese colleagues on a number of joint projects. “We will be engaged in powerful projects together with our [Chinese] colleagues. We have a lot of friends in China, really good friends. And people know us there,” the conductor said. Gergiev also expressed the hope that the upcoming International Tchaikovsky Competition, one of the world’s most prestigious classical music competitions that will take place in Moscow and St. Petersburg from June 19 to July 1, will be kept out of politics, adding that many talented musicians were planning to take part in it. RussiaWestern Art Institutions Ignoring History When Changing Nationality of Russian Artists19 March, 07:01 GMTSince the beginning of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine last February there has been a spike in anti-Russian sentiment in the West that spilled over into the art world. Russia has faced problems retrieving its artworks from overseas exhibitions, and many Western countries have canceled shows by Russian performers, removed Russian literature from educational syllabuses and demolished monuments dedicated to prominent Russian individuals.