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Putin Says Rift Between Russia and Western Nuclear Powers Threatens Strategic Stability, Sanctions Are Illegitimate and Counterproductive

October 15, 2014

Putin: Rift Between Major Nuclear Powers Threatens Strategic Stability

MOSCOW, October 15, 2014 (RIA Novosti) -

The current standoff between Russia and Western nuclear powers is threatening strategic stability and constructive cooperation is needed to prevent the deterioration of the situation, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

"We hope that our partners will realize the futility of attempts to blackmail Russia and remember what consequences discord between major nuclear powers could bring for strategic stability," Putin said in an interview with Serbian newspaper Politika ahead of his visit to Belgrade scheduled for October 16.

"For our part, we are ready to develop constructive cooperation, based on the principles of equality and genuine respect for each other's interests," Putin stressed.

According to the Russian President, in its desire to harm Russia over its alleged involvement in the Ukrainian crisis, the United States "went so far as to declare the suspension of our cooperation in…nuclear energy".

In April, the US Department of Energy suspended peaceful nuclear projects with Russia's Rosatom, while UK authorities revises a cooperation agreement with the Russian state nuclear corporation, which had offered to construct a nuclear power plant in the United Kingdom.


Puting Says Sanctions Pressure on Russia Over Ukraine Illegitimate, Counterproductive

MOSCOW, October 15, 2014 (RIA Novosti) -

Western sanctions against Russia over its alleged role in the Ukrainian crisis will not help to resolve the situation, but will rather hinder dialogue and could seriously undermine economic stability in the world, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

"Our partners should be well aware that attempts to put pressure on Russia with unilateral and illegitimate restrictive measures will not bring about a settlement, but rather impede the dialogue," Putin said in an interview with Serbian newspaper Politika ahead of his visit to Belgrade scheduled for October 16.

"If the main goal is to isolate our country, it's an absurd and illusory goal. It is obviously impossible to achieve it, but the economic health of Europe and the world can be seriously undermined," Putin stressed.

In his previous comments the Russian President has stressed that the sanctions hurt not only the target country but also those using the measure.

On Wednesday, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said the sanctions that have been imposed on Russia by the United States have damaged Russia-US ties. Medvedev, however, expressed hope that the restrictive measures would soon be lifted, becoming "a thing of the past".

The West has introduced several rounds of sanctions against Russia over the past few months, unjustifiably blaming Moscow for meddling in Ukraine's internal affairs. The economic sanctions target Russia's largest energy and defense companies, as well as financial institutions and certain individuals.

Russia responded to the sanctions with a ban on food imports from the United States, the European Union, Canada, Australia and Norway.


Putin warns U.S. spat over Ukraine threatens global stability

By Alexei Anishchuk

MOSCOW Wed Oct 15, 2014 3:25pm EDT

(Reuters) -

President Vladimir Putin warned Washington that a spat between nuclear powers over the Ukraine crisis could threaten global stability. He also said in remarks published on Wednesday that Russia would not be "blackmailed" by sanctions.

Taking a tough line on the eve of talks with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Milan, Putin said the sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union over Moscow's role in the crisis were hindering peace moves.

"We hope that our partners will realise the recklessness of attempts to blackmail Russia, will remember the risks that a spat between major nuclear powers incurs for strategic stability," he told the Serbian newspaper Politika before a brief visit to Belgrade on Thursday.

"For our part, we are ready to develop constructive cooperation on the principles of equality and real consideration of mutual interests."

Putin, who has stepped up anti-Western rhetoric during the crisis, said in August Russia's armed forces, backed by its nuclear arsenal, were ready to meet any aggression and that foreign powers should not "mess with us".

Relations between Moscow and Washington are at a post-Cold War low over Russia's annexation of the Crimean Peninsula and its support for pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, though Moscow denies sending troops and weapons to back them.

Russia says the West was behind the removal of a pro-Russian president in Ukraine in February and that the takeover of Crimea was justified after it voted overwhelmingly to join Russia.

The sanctions have aggravated Russia's economic problems, with inflation running at an annual rate of almost 8 percent, the rouble falling sharply this year and capital flight topping $75 billion in the first half of 2014.

"Attempts to pressure Russia by means of one-sided, illegitimate restrictive measures are not bringing us towards a resolution, and are complicating dialogue," Putin said.

"How can one talk about striving for de-escalation in Ukraine if new sets of sanctions are being introduced almost at the same time as agreements to promote the peace process are reached?"

The European Union introduced new sanctions shortly after a ceasefire deal was reached last month, although it gave Moscow several days to implement the agreement.

The ceasefire has been violated repeatedly and Western powers say the deal agreed at talks involving Russia, Ukraine, the separatists and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe watchdog is not being fully implemented.

(Editing by Timothy Heritage and Louise Ireland)


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