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VLADIVOSTOK, April 18. /TASS/. Russia is ready to cooperate with the United States regardless of who will become the US president after the 2016 elections there, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Saturday in an interview with Vesti v Subbotu program host Sergey Brilyov.
"We will work with any American head of state that the American people will elect," Putin said. "We do not cooperate with a specific individual, we cooperate with the country, one of the largest and a very influential country in the world."
He admitted that there are difficulties in Russia-US relations. "We have differences on a number of positions," the Russian leader said, mentioning problems in the sphere of security, the United States’ unilateral withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and differences on certain issues on the international agenda.
At the same time, Putin said, the two countries "have something that unites us, that makes us work jointly."
As examples, he mentioned in particular nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the fight against international crime, terrorism, poverty, as well as "common efforts aimed at making the global economy more democratic and balanced for the world order to be more democratic."
"We have a common agenda, and we are ready to work with any president that will be elected," Putin said.
Russia does not try to adjust to the current political situation and is conducting an independent policy, which allows its leader to be on the top of ratings of the world’s most influential people, Putin also said.
The journalist asked the head of state to comment on a recent rating based on a poll among the American magazine Time’s readers who called Putin the most influential person in the world.
"Of course, I am indifferent about it, because - I said repeatedly and want to repeat once again - the authority of the leader of this or that state can first of all be assessed by the state’s economic power and its defense capacity," Putin said.
"We have many components that allow us to consider ourselves a country conducting - and it really happens in this manner - an independent sovereign policy on the international arena, conducting the domestic policy in a way our nation demands," he said.
"And in this sense we are, by the way, a rather reliable partner, because we do not dance to somebody’s pipe, do not adjust to the current political situation," Putin said.
He said The Time’s rating was compiled on the basis of the opinions of readers, not the editorial office.
"In this connection I would just like to thank the people who showed such a token of respect, not for me, though it is of course also pleasant, but first of all for our country, Russia," Putin said.