Putin: ‘US wants to subdue Russia, but no one did or ever will’
The US has no plans to humiliate Russia, but instead wants to subdue it, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said, adding that no one had ever succeeded in doing so – and never will.
Speaking at a forum of the All-Russia Peoples' Front in Moscow on Tuesday, the Russian leader said that history was not about to change, and that no one would manage to suppress the country.
"Throughout history no one has ever managed to do so toward Russia – and no one ever will," Putin said.
Responding to a question about whether America was trying to humiliate Russia, Putin disagreed, saying that the US wanted "to solve their problems at our expense."
He said that people in Russia really like the Americans, but it's the US politics that are not accepted so well. "I think America and its people are more liked than disliked by people here [in Russia]. It's the politics of the ruling class [in the US] that is likely negatively viewed by the majority of our citizens," he said.
The Russian leader said the US had managed to subordinate its allies to its influence – with such countries "trying to protect foreign national interests on obscure conditions and perspectives."
One of the means of changing the balance of power in the world to eventually subdue Russia was NATO’s gradual approach to its borders, which made Russia “nervous”, Russian presidential spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told BBC.
Russia needs a “100% guarantee that no-one would think about Ukraine joining NATO,” Peskov added.
The Russian president has last met with his American counterpart last week, while attending the G20 summit in Australia. Despite the focus on the world economy, the crisis in Ukraine was one of the hottest topics at the G20. Talking about the summit's results at a press conference, US President Barack Obama did not announce any significant changes in his country's approach to Russia.
"We would prefer a Russia that is fully integrated with the global economy," the US president told a news conference, adding that his country was "also very firm on the need to uphold core international principles."
Before leaving Brisbane, Putin said that a solution to the crisis in Eastern Ukraine was possible. "Today the situation [in Ukraine] in my view has good chances for resolution, no matter how strange it may sound," he said, as quoted by Reuters.
The Russian leader also said he was satisfied with both the results and atmosphere of the meetings.
Australian authorities created an exceptionally friendly atmosphere for discussing solutions to economic challenges at the G20 summit in Brisbane, the Russian president said, dispelling rumors there were any confrontations.
"Our Australian partners created an exceptionally friendly working atmosphere, very heartfelt, I should say, that was conducive to finding solutions to the challenges faced by the global economy,” Putin said at a forum of the All-Russian People’s Front, adding that it was a pleasant surprise for him to see the warm reception of the Russian delegation from Australian citizens on the streets of Brisbane.
Answering a question about Abbott’s idea to “shirtfront” Putin over the downing of the MH17 jetliner, the Russian president said no such confrontation took place at the Brisbane summit.
"We had very constructive discussions of not only the themes that had brought us together, but some very grave issues involving the Malaysian Boeing. We discussed that in every detail. I can assure you that everything was decent and rather friendly," said the Russian leader.
Though many media outlets speculated that Putin had left the summit early, skipping a Sunday working breakfast because of an icy welcome at the G20, the Russian leader reiterated on Tuesday that practically all work had been finished by that time. “I addressed all sessions,” Putin said, adding: “Our stance was heard.”