Russian President Vladimir Putin has been misunderstood, according to film director Oliver Stone.
"The man speaks articulately about what the Russian interests are in the world. And I would say to you that they're not about empire or expansion or aggression or a return to the old days. Hardly," Stone said in an interview on Australia's ABC network.
"Americans are not listening to him," Stone said. "What worries me is that we're reaching a dangerous threshold. We've probably reached it already, where the Western media and the Western politicians have insulted him repeatedly."
"He's not a Communist and he doesn't think like one. He thinks like a person who is educated, who is a lawyer," said Stone, the director of "Platoon," "Wall Street" and other movies.
Stone interviewed Putin for a four-part TV documentary, "The Putin Interviews." He met Putin while Stone produced the 2016 movie "Snowden," the director said in the Australia interview.
"He agreed to do a set of interviews that we did over two years. I did maybe 25 to 30 hours of film with him… I challenged him and I teased him and I angered him, I hit every note I could," Stone said.
In the interview with Putin, Stone said the Russian president "states clearly what Russia's interests are. The respect for sovereignty of Russia is crucial."
"That's not to say that he wants to be the United States or he wants to be dominant. No. He wants the interests of the Russian people to be taken into account," Stone added.
The director's next project is a TV series about the Guantanamo Bay detention center.
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