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Putin does not believe that relations with Obama are spoiled

May 23, 2014, 16:05 UTC+3

President Vladimir Putin has added Russia has gotten tired of the West’s refusal to hold discussions on NATO’s enlargement and missile defence deployment

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© AP Photo/RIA Novosti Kremlin, Mikhail Klimentyev, Presidential Press Service

ST. PETERSBURG, May 23. /ITAR-TASS/.Russian President Vladimir Putin does not believe that relations with Obama are spoiled, rhetoric and diametrically opposite approaches do not hamper co-operation.

The reset in Russia’s relations with the United States has failed because of Washington’s unilateral actions, Putin said.

“This is a result of unilateral actions,” he said. “The United States have allies, with which it can act following the who-is-not-with-us-is-against-us logic. So, it is possible first to take some actions and later to create a coalition to justify them.”

“But Russia never acts this way,” he stressed. “It is necessary to first reach agreement, to obey by the norms of the international law, to take each other’s interests into account. If things are done this way, we have always been and will always be reliable partbers.

 Putin said the situation with US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden emerged due to unprofessionalism of the American secret services and Russia is not the country to turn away human rights activists.

“Russia is not the country to refuse people fighting for the human rights. This is the truth and not some kind of irony,” Putin said addressing the World Economic Forum, held in Russia’s St. Petersburg on May 22-24.

The president said that Snowden is not a Russian secret service agent and Russia had nothing to do to provoke the so-called Snowden case.

“I believe that he eventually happened to end up on the Russian territory due to unprofessional work of Americans, who tried to detain him,” Putin said.

Russia is not the country to refuse people fighting for the human rights. This is the truth and not some kind of irony Vladimir Putin Russian President The United States accuses Snowden, 30, of leaking information on the NSA’s secret surveillance programs to media. Despite US extradition requests, he was granted a one-year temporary asylum in Russia in August 2013 after spending more than a month in the transit zone of Sheremetyevo airport outside Moscow. He has reportedly found a website maintenance job and resides at an undisclosed location in Russia.

The US authorities say Snowden a former US National Security Agency (NSA) contractor, violated two clauses of a 1917 law on espionage by divulging some secret data related to national defense and by deliberately transferring US intelligence data to individuals not authorized to obtain such data. Snowden is also charged with stealing US government property. Should he turn up on American soil one day, he faces ten years in prison on each charge.

The former NSA contractor said US President Barack Obama had the power to stop what he called illegal activities of US special services.


NATO enlargement

President Vladimir Putin has added Russia has gotten tired of the West’s refusal to hold discussions on NATO’s enlargement and missile defence deployment.

“We’ve gotten tired of such form of discussions - no discussions,” Putin said on Friday.

Those who committed the coup d’etat in Ukraine do not want to talk with Russia, he said.

“We have the following ideas: Ukraine into NATO is the next step,” Putin said.

“Nobody asks us about it and no one holds a dialogue with us. Over the last two 20 years no dialogue was held,” he said.

“We are said - ‘it is none of your business, this is not your concern’,” Putin said.

“This is also related to NATO’s expansion and to missile defence,” he said.


Failure of unipolar world

Idea of the unipolar world has failed, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

“The world is rapidly changing, and we are witnessing colossal geopolitical, technological and structural shifts,” he said.

The failure of the unipolar world is evident “even for those who are still trying to act in their customary coordinate system, maintain their monopoly, dictate their rules of the game in politics and finance and impose cultural and behavioural standards”.

“Global economic upheavals of 2008 were a clear indication that the development model based on standardization and domination was in a deep crisis,” Putin believes.

“We faced the unwillingness to listen to the new leaders of the global development, take into account alternative points of view in practice and not only verbally, and to modify principles of the key international financial and economic institutions in accordance with the changing world order,” Putin said citing the stalled reform of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as an example.


Sanctions against Russia

Western sanctions have had no systemic impact on the Russian economy, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

Admitting certain by-effects of the sanction, Putin, nonetheless, stressed that “so far, it (the sanctions) has no systemic impact on our economy.”

“I hope it will not happen in the future,” he added.

He added that economic sanctions might have a boomerang effect if they were used as an instrument of political pressure.

“It is clear and obvious that economic sanctions used as an instrument of political pressure will have a boomerang effect in a contemporary and inter-related world and will ultimately hurt the business and economies of countries that initiate them,” Putin said.

Putin added that Western sanctions had caused damage to Russian businessmen but described those punitive measures as illegal.

Putin believes that the United States wants to gain competitive advantages in Europe through sanctions against Russia.

The Russian president also accused the West of being snobbish and unwilling to conduct a dialogue with Russia at a time when an agreement on Ukraine’s association with the European Union was in the making. Instead, the West supported an anti-constitutional coup in Ukraine.

“We are not going to drive ourselves into self-isolation. But, as the saying goes, love cannot be forced,” Putin said.

“We hope that common sense will push our partners to cooperation with Russia,” Putin added. Asked to comment on Russia’s relations with the United States, Putin answered that Russia had not spoilt them.

“Our cooperation goes on despite all the harsh rhetoric and diametrically opposite approaches and evaluations,” the Russian head of state said recalling that the United States had threatened to break all military contacts with Russia.

Putin, however, stressed that the United States continued using the transportation corridor for shipping military goods to Afghanistan via the Russian territory.

“It (the US) has not suspended this cooperation. It stands to gain from it while we are not abandoning it either,” Putin explained, adding the same was true of Iran’s nuclear problem and the Syrian settlement.

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