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Putin says his policy unchanged, calls not to consider Russia as enemy

January 11, 2016, 9:30 UTC+3 SOCHI

The Russian leader has rejected the reporters’ claims that after 2007 he changed compared with "the young Putin"

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Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin

© Alexey Druzhinin/Russian president's press service/TASS

SOCHI, January 11. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has said in an interview with German daily Bild that he still feels young and his relation to international problems remains unchanged as the years go by.

The Russian leader has rejected the reporters’ claims that after 2007 he changed compared with "the young Putin" who was friends with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, made common cause with the United States and called against confrontation with Europe.

"I have never changed," the Russian president stressed. "I still feel young today. I was and continue to be Mr Schroeder’s friend. Nothing has changed," Putin added.

The Russian leader also said his attitude towards such issues as the fight against terrorism has not changed either. Putin reminded that after the 9/11 terrorist attacks he was the first to call US President George Bush and express his solidarity.

"We were ready to do everything to fight against terrorism together. Now after the terrorist attacks in Paris occurred I also called and then met with the president of France," Putin said.

"We have common threats, and we still want and seek that all the countries, both in Europe and the whole world, join their efforts to combat these threats," the Russian leader said, adding that he refers not only to terrorism but also to crime and human trafficking, environmental protection and other common challenges.

"But this does not mean that every time we should agree with everyone on these or other issues. If anyone does not like our position then it is not the best way to declare us enemy every time," Putin stressed.

"Maybe it is better to listen to something, reconsider critically and agree with something, and search for common solutions," the president said, reminding that he focused on this in his speech at the UN General Assembly in September.

Putin also said if in the first half of 2000s the world leaders had listened to him, also French President Jacques Chirac and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder (who called against the invasion of Iraq), then there may have been no terrorist attacks in Paris today as there would have been no such an upsurge of terrorism in Iraq, Libya and other countries in the Middle East.

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