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Putin makes tongue-in-cheek comment on his absence from US 'Kremlin List'

January 30, 16:03 UTC+3

The president said that he had not seen the list himself yet

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© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

MOSCOW, January 30. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin made a tongue-in-cheek comment on his absence from the United States’ 'Kremlin List', adding that he had not seen it himself yet.

At a meeting with his electioneering agents on Tuesday Putin, who declared his intention to run for president again, was asked about his attitude to the United States’ just-published Kremlin list and the absence of his own name from it.

"What a shame!" he said to spark laughter in the audience.

In a more serious tone he acknowledged: "I haven’t seen this document yet. Neither the list nor any proposals."

"My colleagues let me know about that in the morning," he added.

Putin has called for ignoring the US Kremlin report, as ‘barking dog cannot hinder caravan’s journey’.

"What I have to say on this matter - not on the list but on the matter as a whole - we need to think about ourselves more, address our economic issues, agricultural ones in particular, we also need to support our exports, healthcare and education, and boost our defense capabilities," Putin said. According to him, "then they will realize that there is no sense in drawing up any lists and trying to hamper our development." "This is the main thing that we need to remember, because as they say, ‘a barking dog cannot hinder a caravan’s journey’," the Russian president added.

According to Putin, 'Kremlin List' harms international relations in general.

"The whole presidential staff, the government and all businesses [were included in the US Kremlin List]. Behind each of these persons and organizations there are ordinary citizens of our country, labor staffs and whole industries. As a matter of fact all of us were put on some list. I cannot see what the meaning of such actions is," Putin said at a meeting with his electioneering agents representing him in the presidential election race.

"Certainly, this is an unfriendly act. It aggravates the already bad condition of Russian-US relations and certainly harms international relations in general," he pointed out.

In his opinion "those who do all these things are focused mostly on domestic policies, they attack the current president [of the United States]."

"They’ve just approved the budget. Before that temporary financing had to be used. He was even unable to use the presidential plane to fly to Switzerland for an international event," Putin said, adding that Trump was under pressure from certain internal forces, which were meddling in healthcare policies and "as for their fuss over international issues, such as alleged intervention in the US election, it was hopelessly ruining Russian-US relations."

"Just look at the silly things happening these days: Russia is blacklisted alongside North Korea and Iran and then asked to participate in resolving the solution of the North Korean nuclear program and giving thought to what could be done about the Iranian issue. Doesn’t this look silly?" Putin asked.

He mentioned many other examples in which Russia and the United States should cooperate.

"We are about to make a decision what is to be done to the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. It is about to expire and we should give thought to how to prolong it, how to go about that business, will we do that or not? Will be fighting against terrorism or not?" Putin asked.

He recalled the tip-off Russia had received from the United States about preparations for a terrorist attack in St. Petersburg.

"We are really very grateful for that. We provide their secret services with similar information. The director of our federal security service FSB did that in Washington just recently. Our intelligence does the same. Do they need this or not? At a certain point some thought it is not necessary and there followed the Boston marathon blast. So is it necessary or not? Will we be working or not? Do you want that or not?" Putin asked.

"We can do without that pretty well, but it seems that everybody is interested in this," he added.

According to Putin, reducing Russian-US relations to zero is total nonsense.

"This is total nonsense to reduce our relations to zero," Putin said. 

Moscow is ready for constructive relations with Washington but the US should decide if it wants to maintain cooperation with Russia, Putin said.

"What do they want? They should decide for themselves. We know what we want - we want to build long-term and stable relations based on the international law," Putin said.

"We are not interested in scrapping relations. On the contrary, we want to develop our ties with the United States," Putin said. "I am convinced that people in the US and Russia are also interested in this and people in the world will sigh with relief when they see that the two largest nuclear powers are building ties in a contemporary manner with mutual respect."

"Everyone should understand that the endless yielding of positions should not be expected," the president warned.

"We are not going to look for trouble or aggravate the situation, we want and will be patiently building relations to the extent the other side - the American side in this case - is ready for it," the head of state said.

Putin stressed that Russia is ready to foster constructive relations with the US. He warned, however, "We cannot afford to have a rerun of [the situation] in South Ossetia in 2008. We cannot let this individual, whose nationality is unclear - a Ukrainian or a Georgian - who’s been bouncing around Kiev’s squares, go and carry out a strike over our peacemakers and kill our peacemakers. And should we just take it lying down?" "Do they think that we are going to sit by twiddling our thumbs, watching limply what is going on around us? [The US] used people’s dissatisfaction with the former heads and the situation in Ukraine to support the coup d’etat - this is obvious, everyone knows that, it was all aired on TV. Crimea left, and so we supported the Crimeans’ desire to return to Russia. And how did they expect it to turn out otherwise?" Putin said, stimulating applause from the audience.

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