Source Pravda.Ru

Putin on foreign policy

Russian President Vladimir Putin believes that objectively Russia and the U.S. have every opportunity to develop cooperation.

"Relations with the U.S. always need paying attention to," he said at the meeting with ambassadors in the Russian Foreign Ministry.

"We have objective prerequisites for long-term partnership on the basis of due account for one another's interests, constructive dialogue, and predictability," he said.

According to the Russian President, all this is needed in the first place to jointly counter international terrorism, maintain strategic stability, and execute arms control.

According to Putin, "good and confidential relations at a level of leadership of the two countries contribute to close cooperation."

At the same time, he said, "this is not enough for sustained and fully strategic partnership."

"Broader American quarters, including businesses, should be interested in good relations with Russia," Vladimir Putin said.

He also said that the damage inflicted by the EU and NATO enlargement should be minimized.

"The latest wave of EU and NATO enlargement has created a new geopolitical environment on the European continent," he said, "and we must not adapt to it, but rather minimize potential risks and damage to Russia's security and economic interests."

He added, "here we have to find advantages and try to capitalize on them."

According to the Russian President, to that end equal cooperation with the EU and NATO should be developed.

"Development of ties with countries showing real interest in strengthening ties with Russia - I mean Germany, Italy, and France - could be an important element of this policy," the President went on.

However, he noted, the development of new foreign policy areas should not overshadow a need to maintain Russia's standing where plenty of resources have been spent.

"Economically, the Asia Pacific region is the most rapidly developing center," he recalled, "We must closely connect our foreign policies oriented to closer cooperation with the Asia Pacific region to our internal affairs," for example, developing Siberia and the Russian Far East.

According to the Russian President, the nation has great opportunities in relations with China and India.

"On the whole," he said, "we must broaden the perspective of the Russian foreign policy and search for new cooperation opportunities."

As to Russia's standing in regions where plentiful resources had been spent before - Vladimir Putin cited Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Latin America, - he said that it should be maintained if not advanced, "which strongly depends upon the Embassies' initiatives," he said.

According to Putin, "we are remembered and well-known there," and there are good attitudes toward Russia in those regions.

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