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Vladimir Putin: West wrongly sees Russian Federation as a threat

Vladimir Putin: West wrongly sees Russian Federation as a threat

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in an interview broadcast on Monday, said he did not want to divide the European Union as he prepared to visit Austria in his first bilateral trip to a West European country in nearly a year.

Putin's 16th call-in marathon, which lasted 4½ uninterrupted hours, provided a window into the president's mind-set - and a prime display of the stagecraft that the Kremlin deploys to boost Putin's image and promote his worldview to Russian households.

In response to a question calling on him to enact sanctions against Latvia for allegedly mistreating ethnic Russians there, Putin said he wanted to resolve the situation with talks and not with any measures that would make matters worse.

As Putin said, "the understanding of the fact that World War III might become the end of the current civilization" should keep the world powers from rash and unsafe actions on the global arena.

Commenting on a question on the aluminum and steel tariffs recently imposed by the United States against Europe, Canada and Mexico, President Putin remarked that these restrictive measures are essentially sanctions.

"It appears our partners thought that this would never affect them, this counterproductive politics of restrictions and sanctions", he said.

"All the facilities need to be able to cover their costs", Putin said during an annual phone-in on Thursday. You've been hit. Dinner is served.

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It's the first state referendum on President Trump , whose immigration policies in particular have galvanized many Latino voters. Ed Royce and Darrell Issa, and the district where Republican Dana Rohrabacher is facing challenges from the left and the right.

"How can you not draw the conclusions that Donald Trump, the president of the United States, is frightened of Vladimir Putin and his grip?"

Although relations between Russia and the European Union have been strained since its 2014 annexation of Crimea, its support of separatists in eastern Ukraine and, most recently, over the poisoning of Russian double-agent Sergei Skripal in England, Austria has maintained friendly ties to Moscow.

The threat of mutually assured destruction helped avoid a nuclear war as it kept nuclear powers from making "abrupt moves and forced them to respect one another", Putin said.

In early 2017, the USA intelligence community found that Putin directed his intelligence services to meddle in the presidential election, and assessed that "Moscow will apply lessons learned from its Putin-ordered campaign aimed at the United States presidential election to future influence efforts worldwide, including against US allies and their election processes".

Putin said that Russian Federation has been warning Europe about USA dominance for years, and "now, with the prospect of trade wars, Europe has begun to listen".

Critics say the event, being held a week before the World Cup starts, is a stage-managed piece of theatre created to let Russians let off steam and fleetingly feel as if they can influence a bureaucratic, top-down system. The country also continues to be a major hub for the import of Russian gas into Europe, and saw trade with Russia increase by 40% over the a year ago, in spite of the sanction regime.


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