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Russia interested in seeing EU countries sovereign, independent, says Putin

According to the Russian leader, one must live under those conditions that have emerged

MOSCOW, March 16. /TASS/. Russia would like to see European countries as independent players that make decisions in their own interests, which is not the case now, President Vladimir Putin told a congress of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs on Thursday.

"We are interested in seeing our European partners as independent and sovereign, and making decisions based on their own national interests. Regretfully, this is not entirely the case, and quite often is not the case at all," the president said.

According to Putin, one must live under those conditions that have emerged. "I suppose that we should meet each other halfway. We cannot shift all of the blame for today's situation solely onto our partners, although we would very much like to do so," he said. Putin expressed his deep conviction that Russia has always been guided by a desire to cooperate with everyone while having its own interests respected. However, Russia has not seen any respect whatsoever for its interests recently, but only the desire of the West to get its own way, including at the expense of the Russian state, the president said with regret.