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Putin says he respects President Obama and is always open for contacts

September 29, 2015, 6:46 UTC+3 MOSCOW
"I repeat we have peer-to-peer interpersonal relationships, we respect each other in any case and we have business contacts at quite a good working level," Putin said
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© Sergey Guneyev/Russian president's press service/TASS

MOSCOW, September 28. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview with the US mass media he respects President Barack Obama and is open for contacts.

"I repeat we have peer-to-peer interpersonal relationships, we respect each other in any case and we have business contacts at quite a good working level," Putin told US TV anchorman Charlie Rose in an interview for the CBS and PBS channels. "And what do the American President, the French President, the German Chancellor, the Japanese Prime Minister or the Chinese Premier of the State Council or the Chinese President think, how do I know? We judge not by what seems to us, but by what people do."

When asked about his meeting with President Obama, the Russian leader noted that the matter was not in mutual willingness or unwillingness to meet. "Meetings of this kind are arranged in advance," he said. "I know that during such events every second, let alone minutes, of President Obama's day are scheduled, there are many delegations from all over the world."

"We are always open for contacts of any kind: at the highest level, at the level of ministries and agencies, at the level of special services, if necessary," Putin underscored.

He noted that such serious matters that concerned actions that may ultimately influence the world "can be finalised only at the top level between the presidents, but before that preparations are needed with preliminary consultations between foreign ministers, defence ministries, and special services."

"This means a lot of work and if this work is ready to be completed, then it makes sense to meet and complete it," the Russian president said. "If our colleagues have not approached the final stage, President Obama and I can meet, shake hands and discuss current issues, we - and I am personally - are always ready for such contacts."

Putin said he had exchanged telephone calls with his US counterpart more than once "on various issues." Such calls, in his words, had been initiated both by himself and President Obama. "This is part of our regular contacts, there is nothing unusual or extraordinary about it," he noted.

According to the Russian leader, the United Nations platform "was created precisely for this, to seek compromise, to communicate with one another."

"What is most important is that Russia - the President of Russia, its Government and all my colleagues - we are ready for these contacts at the highest level, at the level of governments, ministries, agencies. We are ready to go as far as our American partners," Putin stressed.

Putin offers US to closely cooperate in fight against terrorism

The Russian president said Moscow offers Washington and other countries to join efforts in fighting against terrorism because it sees low effectiveness of US actions in this sphere.

"Indeed, few actors take serious steps to combat this threat. Few actors take serious effective measures," the Russian official said in the interview.

"We learned about the effectiveness of the actions of our American partners during the Pentagon report in the US Senate. To tell the truth, their effectiveness is low," Putin said.

"You know, I am not going to speak ironically here, or pick or point at anyone. We propose cooperation, we propose to join efforts," the Russian president stressed.

"We are already acting and we have always acted this way. We have cooperated with many countries and we continue to cooperate, including with the United States. We constantly send to our colleagues through special services’ channels the information necessary for the American special forces in order to make our contribution to ensuring security and safety, including safety of American citizens both in the United States and beyond," the president said.

However, "this level of coordination is insufficient today" he noted adding that "we need to work more closely with each other".

"I think that all countries of the region should join their efforts in the fight against a common threat - terrorism in general and ISIS [Islamic State of Iraq and Syria - former name of the Islamic State terrorist organization] in particular. It concerns Iran as well, it concerns Saudi Arabia (although the two countries do not get along very well, ISIS threatens both of them), it concerns Jordan, it concerns Turkey (in spite of certain problems regarding the Kurdish issue)," the Russian leader continued.

"Everybody is interested in resolving the situation. Our task is to join these efforts to fight against a common enemy," Putin concluded.

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