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Putin knows he may be the main target of Western sanctions

April 17, 15:08 UTC+4 MOSCOW
Russia interested in developing relations with US, will work to restore trust, the Russian President Vladimir Putin says
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© ITAR-TASS/Donat Sorokin

MOSCOW, April 17. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin does not rule out that he may be the main target for Western sanctions.

“Perhaps, attempts are being made to make me the chief target for sanctions,” Putin said during a live call-in on Thursday.

Factor of force has real significance in international relations but we must consolidate international law, draw up the stable rules of conduct and search for compromise solutions without the use of force, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday during his major annual facing-the-nation show.

“As for the factor of force in international relations, it has always been present there and I’m sure it’ll always be,” he said. “The problem is that while we realize the significance, which force has in the international arena, the states acting in the international arena should work out and foster the stable rules of conduct proceeding from common sense.”

“These stable rules of conduct should give an opportunity to make agreements, to search for compromise solutions, and to put the interests of countries and nations into balance without resorting to the use of force,” Putin said.

Vladimir Putin is surprised the US have been refusing to sign a legally binding agreement on antimissile defence, though the US claims the system is not targeted against Russia.

“We suggest signing a paper stating (the antimissile system) is not targeted against us,” Putin said during a Q&A session on Thursday. “The Americans are offering reasons and would not hear us.”

“We shall be tolerant and will continue negotiations,” the president said. Anyway, Russia “will do everything to guarantee security of our people.

The reset in relations between Russia and the United States has ended not over Crimea, but after the crisis in Libya, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

Russia interested in developing relations with US, will work to restore trust, Putin added.

Russia is not interested in spoiling relations with Europe and hopes the European partners follow a similar approach, President Vladimir Putin said.

Sanctions against Russian officials and businessmen

Asked to comment on the imposition of sanctions against businessmen Gennady Timchenko and Arkadiy and Boris Rotenberg, Putin said they were his good acquaintances and friends. “They had earned their capitals long before we met. For example, Timchenko has been in business since the 1990s. Honestly, they are of no relation to Crimea,” Putin stressed, adding that like many other Russians all the three businessmen had learnt about the events in Crimea from TV.

“But they literally learnt the news with tears in their eyes. If they are being punished for that, then there’s certainly a good reason for them to be punished,” the president said, hinting he did not “feel ashamed of his friends.”

At the same time, he said that Western sanctions lacked any common sense referring to Gennady Timchenko’s wife who had a surgery.

“Gennady Timchenko’s wife could not pay for her operation she has undergone because their credit cards and accounts were blocked. It is just a violation of human rights which has got nothing to do with common sense,” Putin emphasized.

Policies of lies and double standards

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin calls for avoiding policies of lies and double standards in the international relations. He noted Moscow wanted to restore trust in relations with Washington.

Putin confirmed “to a big extent, the trust (between Moscow and Washington) has been lost.”

“Why so? We see none of our fault here. Why? Because we are always upset about double standards’ approaches. What happens? To do what the US considers possible to be doing in Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya is considered to be acceptable, while Russia is not allowed to protect its own interests,” Putin said, referring also to the Kosovo example.

“This position is not logical at all,” the president said commenting on the US policy.

“In order to raise the trust, it is necessary to mind interests of each other, to speak one language, to clear the international policy from double standards and lies, and to pay more attention and recognise as most important the international law, not the policy of force.”

“I hope this will be possible,” he said. “Russia, I assure you, will strive for it.

Mutual visits

Russian President Vladimir Putin hopes to restore the practice of mutual visits of Russia, US leaders.

This is the United States that “decided to suspend preparation of mutual visits at the top level,” the president said at a televised annual question-and-answer session on Thursday.

“Russia will not build an Iron Curtain,” Putin pledged.

Сompromise on the Ukrainian problem

"Whether a compromise on the Ukrainian problem could be reached by the United States and Russia? A compromise should be reached by different political forces within Ukraine, rather than by "third” players. All we can do is to support and accompany," President Putin said in a live question and answer interview.

"It is not the point what will happen first -a referendum on the Constitution followed by election or stabilization should be reached first followed by a referendum. The point is to ensure the legitimate rights and meet the interests of Russians and the Russian-speaking population in the southeast of Ukraine.

We shall be tolerant and will continue negotiations Vladimir Putin Russian President

I would like to remind you that this is Novorossiya - the term used back in the tsarist epoch. Kharkiv, Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson, Odessa were not part of Ukraine in the tsarist epoch. These are the territories which were turned over to Ukraine by the former Soviet government in the 1920s. God knows what they did that for.

All this dates back to the victories won by tsarist Russia in notorious wars in the epoch of Catherine the Great and Prince Potyomkin with the center in Novorossiysk; hence the name- Novorossiya. Then for different reasons these territories were lost, but the people remained.

Indeed, the people in the southeast of Ukraine are citizens of Ukraine, but they must be equal citizens in their country," Putin said.

It is not the matter of what should come first - a referendum on decentralization of Ukraine or its federalization, followed by election with subsequent change in the state structure. The point is giving guarantees to the people. We should convince them ( US and Ukraine) to reach settlement of the problem "where are the guarantees?"

"Citizens of the south and east of Ukraine will ask us and today's rulers of Ukraine: “Well, the election will be held on May 25. Do you want us to recognize it? We must find an answer to this question. I hope we will do it," Putin said.

Greater Europe from Portugal’s Lisbon to Russian Far East’s Vladivostok

Russian President Vladimir Putin offered European countries to build together a greater Europe from Portugal’s Lisbon to Russian Far East’s Vladivostok in order not to turn in little players from whom nothing will depend in the future.

“We should seek to this, and I said about this many times, we should create Europe from Lisbon to Vladivostok. If we do this we will have a chance to take a worthy place in a future world.

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