Vladimir Putin: West wrongly sees Russian Federation as a threat

Anton Novoderezhkin  TASS

Anton Novoderezhkin TASS

"Our military is there to ensure Russia's interests in an important region of the world", he said.

Austria's far-right Freedom Party (FPO) has called for sanctions against Russian Federation to be lifted, but the conservative Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and his party, which control Austria's European Union policy, have said Austria will toe the European Union line. He added, however, that he could pull them out of the country quickly if necessary.

The Kremlin first launched airstrikes in Syria in September 2015 in its biggest Middle East intervention in decades, turning the tide of the conflict in President Bashar al-Assad's favour. Putin announced last December he would reduce Russia's military presence there.

Commenting on a question on the aluminum and steel tariffs recently imposed by the United States against Europe, Canada and Mexico, President Putin remarked that these restrictive measures are essentially sanctions.

Replying to a question about global pressure against Moscow, Putin explained that these accusations and sanctions are aimed at containing Russia's development. "But now we are seeing that this is happening".

Russian President Vladimir Putin has praised his USA counterpart Donald Trump for his "brave and mature" decision to go ahead with meeting with Kim Jong-un.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday said the country's forces would remain in Syria as long as it was in Moscow's interests, despite earlier announcing Russia's mission in the war-torn country was largely completed. "Dinner is served ... please sit down and eat". "They see that Russian Federation has become a competitor to them. we propose that this is a very mistaken policy".




"We decide pragmatically whether to cooperate with someone politically", Putin said when asked in the interview about United Russia's ties with far-right parties.

Asked about his interactions with U.S. President Donald Trump, Putin said political infighting in Washington was hampering their contacts.

"To go forward together one with the other is better than one against the other".

"If we take this together with an earlier joke, that Russian Federation influenced elections in the United States, then this all taken together, starts sounding pretty amusing", he said.

"So, we influenced the USA elections, and he gifted us Europe in return?" he asked. "Total nonsense. There's no way to describe this other than as a joke".

The phone-in was Putin's first since being re-elected to a historic fourth Kremlin term in March, and comes just a week before Russian Federation is set to host the World Cup.

Critics say the event, being held a week before the World Cup starts, is a stage-managed piece of theatre created to let Russians let off steam and fleetingly feel as if they can influence a bureaucratic, top-down system.

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