"The most important is not undermine legitimate governments, not to destroy their statehood even if it appears to be imperfect," Putin said in an interview to aired on Rossiya 1 television channel.
He added that providing assistance to an opposition inside a country was possible without violating international law.
"What could be done without violating international law? To help those forces inside the country, that promote your values, by lawful means. To help even financially, by providing information, politically," Putin said, adding that orchestrating protests from outside was inadmissible.
Putin also expressed his negative attitude toward countries that were trying to promote their stance by use of force to extend their leadership.