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MOSCOW, October 12. /TASS/. Moscow is concerned as the Russian-US relations have soured but "this is not our choice," President Vladimir Putin told the "Russia Calling!" VTB forum on Wednesday.
"We are also concerned over the deterioration of the Russian-US relations, but this is not our choice, we have never wanted this. On the contrary, we want to have friendly relations with such a great country as the United States, the leading economy of the world," Putin said.
Russia and the United States should act like partners and respect each other’s interests in order to improve bilateral relations, he stressed.
The president noted that it is "very difficult to maintain dialogue" with the current US administration, "there is almost no dialogue at all." According to him, the US administration first says what it wants and then starts insisting that it is done. "But this is not dialogue, this is some kind of dictate, and it happens almost every time. As for Russia, we are ready for dialogue but dialogue is usually aimed at reaching compromise. What should be done to normalize the situation? We should act like partners and take each other’s interests into account. We are ready for that," Putin said.
The president believes that by accusing Russia of pressures the US Administration is trying to manipulate public opinion.
"This hysteria has only one task - to distract the opinion of the American people from the essence of the content the hackers have made public," Putin said. "In fact, this is manipulation with public opinion. For some reason nobody says so. Everybody keeps talking about who did that."
Speaking about the accusations against Russia that it allegedly exerts pressure on other countries, Putin said: "Look who’s talking!" "Our partners, namely the US administration, are too busy putting pressure on other countries," he said. "Also on its allies, it eavesdrops and wiretaps on its allies, and uses this information."
Such a picture may be seen - some hackers leaked information that Hillary Clinton’s headquarters are acting improperly during the election campaign, namely by supporting one intra-party candidate at the expense of another. "The hysteria began that this is in the interests of Russia. There is nothing here about Russia’s interests," he stressed.
Putin believes that it is utterly impermissible to use the theme "Russia" as "petty cash" in the internal political struggle in the United States.
"It is very wrong to use Russia as petty cash in the internal political struggle, thus harming inter-state relations," Putin noted.
"We are being told all the time that ten years ago nobody recalled Russia’s very existence. Everybody thought it was a second-rate power, a regional country of no interest at all," Putin said.
"These days number one problem in the whole election campaign is Russia. It is being talked about all along. This is very flattering, of course, but only to an extent," Putin said. "All participants in that process overdo it when it comes to anti-Russian rhetoric and spoil our interstate relations."
Putin said it is very bad for the whole international community, because in global terms Russia and the United States bear the responsibility for maintaining peace and security the world over as the two leading nuclear powers.
At the same time, Putin remarked, "Russia is being whispered into both ears it should not pay too much attention to it, that it will come to an end someday and we will be friends again."
"That’s not serious," he said.
Putin stressed Russia will be prepared to work with any US president, provided the yet-to-be elected head of state displays the wish to cooperate with Russia.
"The people of the United States will make the choice they deem right. Whatever the outcome, we will be working with any US leader, whoever may take the president’s seat," he said. "If the US leader displays the wish to work with our country, of course."