All the talking about Russia's "aggressive behavior" is nothing but the talking to feed the poor.
"They try to accuse us of some sort of aggressive behavior. This is the talking to feed the poor, which is what only the media can take," Putin said at Arctic: Territory of Dialogue forum commenting on accusations from the West.
Putin recalled how Russia supported Finland's concerns about the flights of military aircraft with transponders turned off over the Baltic Sea. Despite technical difficulties, the Russian Federation was ready to do everything to use those identification devices. Yet, NATO refused to meet halfway on this. "You go and ask them why," Putin offered the audience at the meeting.
Putin noted that NATO's military activities exceed those of Russia several times, judging by the number of aircraft flying over the Baltic. "Experts register this and they know about it," he added.
At the same time, Putin said, Russia "is not going to fight or compete with the United States." He also mentioned that the United States spends on defense more than all countries in the world combined.
"The sooner we establish cooperation in the military sphere, the better," Putin said, reminding that Russia and the United States are the world's largest nuclear powers.
According to Putin, Russia wants to establish partnership relations with the United States. Those who say the opposite lie and engage in provocations that certain forces subsequently use "for the domestic political agenda" in Washington in the interests of certain political forces, the goal of which is to consolidate their own positions inside the United States.
The Russian leader believes that attempts to worsen relations between Russia and the USA are a big mistake. Putin hopes that the situation will normalize, "the sooner, the better."
"We know this for certain. Opinion polls in the United States show that Russia has many friends in the United States. I want to tell them first and foremost that we perceive and regard the United States as a great power, with which we want to establish very kind, partnership relations," the Russian leader said answering a question about Russian-American relations.
"This is not in the interests of the majority of the American people to bring the Russian-American relations to nonsense in favor of the internal political calendar. Do we want to curtail our relations at all? They are already almost at zero - the turnover is only $20 billion - this is a meagre turnover for such countries as Russia and the USA," Putin noted.
"Do we want to completely break off diplomatic relations? Do we want to bring the situation to the 1960s, to the Caribbean crisis, and then what? In general, the people who behave like this, irresponsibly, - where do they take us all, including the people of the United States? I think that this is a big mistake and I very much hope that sometime - the sooner the better - the situation will normalize," Putin concluded.
Speaking upon the Ukrainian issue, Putin noted that he was hoping for the aspiration of the new US administration to resolve regional crises.
"If we try to contain someone by such dangerous methods as regional conflicts, it will end up with global catastrophes and global conflicts," Putin said. "On the contrary, we must strive to resolve conflicts of any kind. I very much hope that our American partners and colleagues will embark on this path of cooperation," the head of state said.
In his view, the worse the relationship between Russia and Ukraine, the better it is for certain forces in the USA that strive to weaken Russia, including in the economic sphere.
As far as issues of cybersecurity are concerned, the president noted that Russia repeatedly urged the United States to cooperate in this area, but has not received a positive response.
"We hear these endless and groundless accusations of some kind of interference. Do you know that we had offered the American side to develop and sign a joint agreement about cybersecurity?" Putin asked. "We suggested that, but the American side refused," he added.
Russia and the USA share common interests in the Arctic region, the Russian president added. The production of hydrocarbons in the Arctic region is one of such common interests.
"I very much hope that we will enter a two-way street, and we will improve the Russian-American relations for the benefit of our peoples and the world," Putin said.
"We have very good examples - we cooperate with Exxon Mobil, with other partners in the development of this region, and these are enormous prospects for Russia, the United States and the world," the Russian president said.
He recalled that Russia and the United States cooperate in the Arctic Council, which the United States currently chairs. The two countries also continue cooperation on cross-border issues. For example, Russian and US citizens living along the shores of the Bering Strait do not require visas for traveling.
"We have the visa-free regime so far, thank God, it's a very good thing as it helps people who live there to communicate with each other, with their relatives and friends," the Russian leader believes. In his opinion, "this is a very good basis for expanding cooperation of this kind in the future."
The head of state named another sphere of the Russian-American cooperation. "We must take care to preserve the polar bear population, organize fishing - this is our common interest," Putin said.
Putin pointed out positive changes in the Russian-US cooperation on Syria. "Still, in some sensitive areas, such as the cooperation in Syria, despite all the statements, the real cooperation is growing, deepening, expanding," he said. "We feel the interest of our American partners in the development of this cooperation, and this is a very good signal."
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