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Putin dismissed as cliche claims Russia backs nationalists in Europe

June 17, 20:48 UTC+3
The president recalled that back ten years ago he had warned the European counterparts that the policy they were pushing ahead with would inevitably result in the popularity of nationalist parties
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© Mikhail Klimentyev/TASS

ST. PETERSBURG, June 17. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has dismissed as a cliche the suspicion Russia backs nationalist forces in Europe. He expressed this opinion of his at a news conference following talks with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

"This is a two-fold question and one part of it is the assertion of a cliche spreading in Europe to the effect Russia supports some nationalist parties or maintains special relations with them," he said.

Putin recalled that back ten years ago he warned the European counterparts that "the policy they are pushing ahead with will inevitably result in the popularity of nationalist parties and movements."

"We have nothing to do with that. You should go and ask those who are responsible for this in Europe," Putin added. "It is very clear that this is a delicate humanitarian question and that people who try to get away from war do need help. But it is likewise clear that while granting aide each country should take care of its citizens."

Putin stressed Russia’s firm intention not to meddle in such affairs.

"We maintain relations with all political forces in Europe. Those at the helm of power and those in opposition," he concluded.

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