Russian President Vladimir Putin: Promising trouble if sanctions continue and

warning Americans not to get carried away with the idea of 'exceptionalism.'



Putin Interview: 'West's Attempt to Blackmail Russia is Futile' (Politika, Serbia)


"President Barack Obama stood before the U.N. General Assembly and included 'Russian aggression in Europe' as one of the three major threats facing humanity today, along with the deadly Ebola virus and the terrorist group the 'Islamic State.' On top of the sanctions the U.S. has imposed against entire sectors of our economy, it is an approach that would be difficult to describe as anything but hostile. … We hope that our partners come to understand the futility of attempts to blackmail Russia and remember the consequences that discord between major nuclear powers can bring when the strategic stability of the world is at stake."


-- Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation


October 16, 2014


Politika – Serbia – Original Language (Serbian)

This translation was provided by the office of the Russian president and checked for accuracy by Worldmeets.US.


In his first interview with media in the post-Yugoslav space, the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, stressed the significance of holding celebrations for the great anti-fascist anniversaries like the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Belgrade. In comments on contemporary politics and relations with the United States, Putin said that belief in its own exceptionality could lead to horrific consequences.


This is not the first time the Russian president has though foreign media criticized the American belief in its own exceptionalism. He did just that a year ago in The New York Times. Never before, however, has he put "belief in their own exceptionality" on par with the criminal ideology which was demolished seventy years ago [fascism].


Due to his busy schedule, Vladimir Putin answered the questions of Politika electronically, as has been his custom in recent years when giving interviews to the print media.

POLITIKA: What are your views on Russian-Serbian relations today? What has been important in this area over the past 20 years, and what are your expectations for the future?


VLADIMIR PUTIN: Serbia has been and remains one of Russia's key partners in southeastern Europe. Our countries combine centuries old traditions and fruitful cooperation. Developing relations contributes to our common interests politically, economically and culturally, as well as in other spheres of life. Today, Russian-Serbian relations are on the rise. In 2013, President of Serbia Tomislav Nikolik and I signed the Interstate Declaration on Strategic Partnership reaffirming our shared intention to promote large-scale collaboration in all key areas. This provides for a common focus on comprehensively developing our cooperation in key areas. We support maintaining political contact for confidence building and discussing current bilateral and international issues. We agree on joint practical steps, and our countries cooperate closely in the U.N., OSCE, Council of Europe and many other organizations.


POLITIKA: Are you satisfied with the current level of cooperation between Serbia and Russia?


We are pleased with the consistent development of our economic ties, which are bolstered by the existing free trade regime between our countries. In 2013, our mutual trade grew by 15 percent amounting to $1.97 billion, and, in the first six months of 2014, it has already increased another 16.5 percent to $1.2 billion. We expect it to reach $2 billion by the end of this year.


These positive dynamics are reflected in the investment sphere as well. The overall scope of Russian investment in Serbia has exceeded $3 billion. A fundamental share of these resources has been invested in the strategically-important energy industry. The best example of our successful cooperation is energy giant Petroleum Industry of Serbia, which has turned from a loss-making enterprise into a key contributor to the Serbian state budget. Implementation of the South Stream project will provide Serbia with more than €2 billion in new investment and substantially enhance Serbian energy security. Serbia's rail infrastructure is being rebuilt and upgraded with the participation of Russian Railways and our support in the form of loans.


POLITIKA: There is currently a great deal of speculation regarding a possible reduction in Russian gas supplies to Europe because of Ukraine's debt. Should European consumers prepare for a cold winter? What about the future of the South Stream project, which is of great interest to Serbia?


VLADIMIR PUTIN: First of all, I want to stress that Russia is fully complying with its obligations in connection with the delivery of gas supplies to European consumers. We are focused on deepening our cooperation with the E.U. in the energy sector, where we are natural partners on a transparent and predictable basis.


Since 2000, together with our European partners we have successfully implemented a number of major projects. This includes Nord Stream, which enables us to minimize transit risks and ensure uninterrupted gas supplies to Europe. Over recent months, Gazprom has been rapidly boosting gas supplies for Europe's underground storage facilities. These measures are taken to prevent interruptions of supplies due to transit disruptions and meet peak demand in winter. Naturally, we have taken into account the risks associated with the Ukrainian crisis.


We were forced to cut gas supplies to Ukraine in June because the Kiev authorities refused to pay for gas that had already been delivered. In late summer and early fall, we held a series of intensive consultations at a trilateral forum including Russia, the E.U. and Ukraine, where we discussed mutually acceptable solutions to the problem of settling Ukraine's gas debt, resuming gas supplies to Ukraine, which had been halted by the Ukrainian side, and providing for stable hydrocarbon deliveries for Europe. We are ready to continue constructive talks on these issues. However, as for the future of Russian gas exports to Europe, it is obvious that the problem of transit across Ukrainian territory still exists. One of the more obvious solutions would be to diversify the supply routes. In connection with this, we hope the European Commission will quickly decide to use the OPAL gas pipeline to its fullest capacity.


POLITIKA: What is the future of the South Stream project, the realization of which Serbia is keenly interested?


We need to resolve the deadlock over South Stream. We are confident that this project will significantly contribute to overall energy security in Europe. That will benefit everyone, Russia as well as European consumers, including Serbians.


POLITIKA: In your opinion, what is the ultimate objective of the economic sanctions that the E.U. and United States have imposed on Russia?


VLADIMIR PUTIN: This question would more appropriately be addressed to the United States and E.U., whose logic is difficult to understand. To anyone without preconceived ideas, it wasn't Russia who staged a coup d'état in Ukraine, which led to an immediate and grave internal political crisis and a schism in civil society. An unconstitutional seizure of power was the starting point for subsequent events, including those in Crimea. The people of Crimea, seeing the complexity and unpredictability of the situation and in order to defend their rights to their mother tongue, culture and history, decided, in full compliance with the U.N. Charter, to hold a referendum and rejoin Russia. Therefore, our partners must clearly understand that attempts to pressure Russia with illegitimate unilateral and restrictive measures will not bring about a settlement, but impede further dialogue.



How can we talk about de-escalation in Ukraine while decisions on new sanctions are introduced almost simultaneously with the achievement of an agreement to initiate a peace process? If the main goal is to isolate our country, it is an absurd and illusory goal. It is obvious that such a thing will be impossible to achieve, although the economic health of Europe and the world can be seriously undermined.


POLITIKA: How long do you think sanctions on Russian will last, and how much harm will they do?


VLADIMIR PUTIN: With regard to the duration of the restriction measures, that also depends on the United States and European Union. For our part, we will adopt a balanced approach to assess the risks and impact of sanctions and respond proceeding from our national interest. It is obvious that the decline in mutual confidence is bound to have a negative impact on both the global business climate in general and the activities of European and American companies in Russia, which will find it very difficult to recover from reputational damage. At the same time, it will make other countries think carefully about the wisdom of investing their funds in the American banking system and increasing their dependence on economic cooperation with the United States.


POLITIKA: How do you see the future of Russian-Ukrainian relations?


VLADIMIR PUTIN: As for Russia, relations with Ukraine have always been and will continue to be of great importance. Our people are inextricably linked by common spiritual, cultural and civilizational roots. For over a century, we were part of a single state, and that vast historical experience and millions of intertwined destinies cannot be dismissed or forgotten.


Although this is a difficult stage in Russian-Ukrainian relations, we are interested in progressive, equitable and mutually-beneficial cooperation with our Ukrainian partners. In practice this will become possible after achieving a stable peace and sustainable of the situation in Ukraine. Therefore, we hope overcome this deep and prolonged political and economic crisis.


Today there is a real opportunity to end the armed confrontation, which in fact amounts to a civil war. The first steps in this direction have already been taken. The launching of a genuine intra-Ukrainian dialogue as quickly as possible involving representatives from all regions and political forces is vital. Such an approach was documented in the Geneva Statement of April 17. Within the framework of such a nationwide dialogue, it will be necessary to focus on Ukraine's constitutional structure and the future of the country, where all the citizens without exception will be able to live comfortably and in safety.


POLITIKA: Will Russia and the United States resume a strategic partnership after all that has happened, or will relations be placed on some other basis?


As for the prospects for Russia-American relations, our aim has always been to build a relationship of open partnership with the United States. In return, however, we have seen various complaints and attempts to interfere in our domestic affairs – and what has happened since the beginning of the year is even more disturbing. Washington actively supported the Maidan protests, and when its charges in Kiev, motivated by unrestrained nationalism and provoking the resentment of a significant portion of Ukraine, plunged the country into civil war, it began to blame Russia for provoking the crisis.

Posted By Worldmeets.US


Then President Barack Obama stood before the U.N. General Assembly and included “Russian aggression in Europe” as one of the three major threats facing humanity today, along with the deadly Ebola virus and the terrorist group the "Islamic State." On top of the sanctions the U.S. has imposed against entire sectors of our economy, it is an approach that would be difficult to describe as anything but hostile.




In its public statements, the United States went so far as to suspend cooperation in the conquest of space and nuclear energy. The Americans have suspended the activity of the Russia-U.S. Bilateral Presidential Commission established in 2009, which is composed of 21 working groups which are dedicated, among other things, to combating terrorism and illegal drug trafficking.


At the same time, the current chill in our relations is not the first. We hope that our partners come to understand the futility of attempts to blackmail Russia and remember the consequences that discord between major nuclear powers can bring when the strategic stability of the world is at stake. For our part, we are ready to develop constructive cooperation based on the principles of equality and genuine respect for one another's interests.


POLITIKA: You are coming to Belgrade to take part in celebrations commemorating the 70th anniversary of the city’s liberation from occupation by Nazi Germany. Why, in your view, are such commemoration events important today?


VLADIMIR PUTIN: First of all, I would like to thank the Serbian leadership for the invitation to visit Serbia and take part in the celebrations commemorating the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Belgrade from occupation by Nazi Germany.


We are truly grateful to our Serbian friends for the way they treasure the memory of the Soviet soldiers who fought alongside the National Liberation Army of Yugoslavia against Hitler’s occupation troops. During World War II, over 31,000 Red Army officers and soldiers were killed, wounded or went missing on the territory of the former Yugoslavia. About 6,000 Soviet citizens fought the invaders in the ranks of the National Liberation Army. Their courage brought our common victory over Nazism closer and will always be remembered by our peoples as an example of bravery, unyielding determination and selfless service to one’s homeland.


It is hard to overestimate the importance of the upcoming events. Seventy years ago, our nations, for humanity's sake, joined forces to defeat the criminal ideology of hatred that threatened the very existence of our civilization. And today it is also important that people in different countries and continents remember what terrible consequences may result from the belief in one’s exceptionality, attempts to achieve dubious geopolitical goals, no matter by what means, and disregard for basic norms of law and morality. We must do everything in our power to prevent such tragedies in the future.




de Volkskrant, Netherlands: Putin's Letter to Americans a Guilty Pleasure for World

Izvestia, Russia: Global Call to Arms Against 'American Exceptionalism'

Huanqiu, China: Letter By Vladimir Putin Exposes 'Exceptional' American Inequality

Moskovskiye Novosti, Russia: 'Russia's Place in a Changing World,' By Vladimir Putin


Regrettably, in some European countries, the Nazi “vaccine” created at the Nuremberg Tribunal is losing its effect. This is clearly demonstrated by open manifestations of neo-Nazism that are already commonplace in Latvia and other Baltic states. The situation in Ukraine, where nationalists and other radical groups provoked an anti-constitutional coup d’état in February, causes particular concern in this respect.


Today, it is our shared duty to combat the glorification of Nazism. We must firmly oppose the attempts to revise the results of WWII and consistently combat any forms and manifestations of racism, xenophobia, aggressive nationalism and chauvinism.


I am sure that the anniversary celebrations in Belgrade, which are to become another manifestation of the sincere friendship between our nations based on the feelings of mutual affinity and respect, on spiritual kinship, on brotherhood in arms in the years of WWII, will also contribute to addressing these challenges. We hope that the preservation of historical memory will continue to help us strengthen peace, stability and welfare of the common European space together.




Izvestia, Russia: Russians Must Prepare for Lengthy Stand-Off with the United States

Le Figaro, France: Beware Perpetuating NATO by Fanning the Flames with Russia

Die Welt, Germany: West Must Not Allow Kiev to 'Internationalize the War'

Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Germany: Ukraine: A 'Hopeless Struggle' for the Lost East

La Stampa: Reagan Sets 'Acid Test' for Crisis-Beset Obama

Gazeta, Russia: Sanctions Show What Independence will Cost Russians

Folha, Brazil: Putin 'No Hero' for Troubling America

Polityka, Poland: Patience: Russia Sanctions will Take Time to Bite

Polityka, Poland: Collective Orgasm' Over Crimea Pushes Putin toward Invasion

Gazeta, Russia: 'Successful' Russia Sanctions Would be West's Worst Nightmare

Gazeta, Russia: MH17: Guilty Rebels 'Worse for Moscow than KAL-007'

Izvestia, Russia: MH17: West's Version of Events Hearsay, Subterfuge, Hysteria

Elsevier, The Netherlands: MH17: Dutch Should Avoid America's Post-911 Reaction

Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland: West's Sliding Scale of Human Suffering is a Gift to Putin

Elsevier, The Netherlands: As Dutch Mourn Our Dead, Russians Should Mourn their State

de Volkskrant, The Netherlands: MH17: E.U. Must 'Slam its Fists' on the Table

Elsevier, The Netherlands: Securing MH17 Victims: Dutch Have Elite Troops for a Reason!

de Volkskrant, The Netherlands: MH17: Death Knell of Ukraine's Pro-Russian Separatists

Guardian, U.K.: MH17: Dutch Mayor Wants Putin's Daughter Deported

Der Spiegel, Germany: U.S. 'Loses Patience' with Europe: Wants Tough Russia Sanctions

Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland: Obama's Sanctions on Russia are the 'Only Real Sanctions'

Izvestia, Russia: Abandoning Pro-Russia Separatists Would Be 'Unforgivable'

Izvestia, Russia: For Russia, Iraq Crisis is a 'Lucky Break'

Newsweek Polska, Poland: Has Putin Orchestrated Poland's Eavesdropping Scandal?

Gazeta Wyborcza, Poland: Poland and Germany Show Kremlin No Wiggle Room

News, Switzerland: All's Disquiet on the Western Front

Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Germany: U.S. 'Unprepared' for Opposition to TTIP Free Trade Deal

News, Switzerland: Barack Macbeth's 'Murder' of Net Neutrality

Die Welt, Germany: NATO Badly Divided on Deploying Troops in East Europe; Facing Moscow

Ukrayinska Pravda, Ukraine: In Defeating the 'Russian Disease,' Will Ukraine Lose its Soul?

Rzeczpospolita, Poland: Obama's Chance to Make Up for Missteps Toward Poles

Direct Matin, France: Mr. Obama's D-Day Option: Indifference or Interference?

Economist, U.K.: Poland - Obama's First Stop in Europe

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Izvestia, Russia: 'Envy of the Gods': Obama 'Unfit to Lead' a Great Power

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Le Figaro, France: For Putin's Russia, Conchita Wurst is a Tool Like No Other

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Huanqiu, China: China Requires Capacity to Shoot Down American Satellites

Epoca, Brazil: China on the Moon: Move Over America and Russia

Rodong Sinmun, North Korea: American Space Crime Must be Stopped!

Novaya Gazeta, Russia: NATO 'Never Promised' Not to Expand Eastward

KPRU, RUSSIA: Ukraine Crisis: Russia Cannot Dispense with the Dollar

Rzeczpospolita, Poland: Thank Putin for NATO's 'Second Wind'

Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Germany: Weakening Russian Influence Requires European Energy Union

Gazeta, Russia: Ukraine: Setting the Table for a Newer World Order

Izvestia, Russia: Dimitry Kiselyov: Russia Takes West's Place as Beacon of Free Expression

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Trouw, Netherlands: Clinton's Hitler-Putin Comment Highlights Weakness of E.U.

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Vedomosti, Russia: From Hitler to Putin: Crimea is 'Not the First Time'

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Handelsblad, Germany: 'Fissures' in Europe: Putin, Propaganda, and Patriotism

Der Spiegel, Germany: Finance Minister Schauble Says Putin Plan Reminiscent of Hitler

Der Spiegel, Germany: The Sympathy Problem - Is Germany a Country of Russia Apologists?

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Cotidianul, Romania:
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Posted By Worldmeets.US October 16, 2014, 5:45pm








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