EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: VLADIMIR PUTIN, President of the Russian Federation
Obama’s approach to Russia is hostile
Original Article at Политика: http://www.politika.rs/rubrike/Svet/Obamin-pristup-Rusiji-je-neprijateljski.sr.html
Translation: Google Translate (not perfect but okay)
COMPLETE INTERVIEW Russian-Serbian relations are on the rise. – Western sanctions will force many countries to reconsider the wisdom entrust their funds the American banking system
In the first interview with a medium to post-Yugoslav space, the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin stressed the importance of a worthy celebration of the great anti-fascist anniversaries such as the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Belgrade. By creating an open allusion to the contemporary political context and relations with the United States, Putin said that “conviction in their own exceptionalism” can lead to horrific consequences.
This is not the first time that the Russian president in a foreign media criticizing the American belief in its own exceptionalism – he did it a year ago in the “New York Times” – but never before “conviction in their own exceptionalism” is not put on the same level with the criminal ideology that was demolished seventy years ago.
Due to high occupancy, Vladimir Putin questions the “Policy” answered electronically, as it has in recent years the custom when giving interviews in written media.
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What are your views on the Russian-Serbian relations today? What’s in this field has made in the last 20 years and what are your expectations for the future?
Putin: Serbia has always been and remains one of the key partners of Russia in southeastern Europe. Our countries and peoples combines centuries old traditions of friendship and fruitful cooperation. Developing these relationships contribute to the common interests in politics, economy, culture, as well as in other spheres of life. Today, the Russian-Serbian relations on the rise. It is possible that the President Tomislav Nikolic 2013 interstate sign declaration on strategic partnership, which was confirmed by a common focus towards the development of comprehensive cooperation in all key areas. We support active political contacts during which the trust discuss current bilateral issues and international issues, we agree on a common practical steps. Our countries cooperate closely in the UN, OSCE, Council of Europe and in many other organizations.
Are you satisfied with the current level of cooperation between Serbia and Russia?
Putin: We are pleased with the consequent development of economic ties, where contributions are existing free trade regime between the two countries. In 2013, mutual trade exchange increased by 15 percent and amounted to 1.97 billion dollars, but only after the first half of 2014, trade between the povećanaza another 16.5 percent, and for that period it has already amounted to 1.2 billion. We estimate that the value of trade, according to results from the first half of this year will amount to two billion dollars.
Positive dynamics is reflected in the investment sphere. The overall scope of Russian investments in Serbia surpassed the amount of three billion dollars. Fundamental part of these resources is in a strategically important energy industry. The best example of our successful cooperation is the company “Petroleum Industry of Serbia”, which is the loss-making company into a main payer -punioca Serbian state budget. Implementation of the project “South Stream” must make Serbia more than two billion of new investment, but also substantially enhance energy security zemlje.Uz share an open joint stock company, “Russian Railways” and our credit support to realize the projects and renovation and modernization of railway infrastructure in Serbia gov is the possible reduction of Russian gas supplies to Europe due to the debt of Ukraine. Whether European consumers expect a cold winter?
First of all I want to emphasize that Russia fully complies with its obligations in connection with the delivery of gas to European consumers. We are focused towards further deepening of cooperation with the EU in the energy sector, where we are natural partners in a transparent and predictable basis. Since 2000, together with our European partners we have managed to achieve a number of significant projects, including the “Nord Stream”, which allows to minimize transit risks and to ensure uninterrupted supply of gas to European countries. Over the past months, “Gazprom” is rapidly increasing gas supplies to the European underground storage. These measures were taken to prevent interruptions in gas transit and to provide comfortable conditions for overcoming peak consumption during the winter. Of course, no doubt take into account the risk that is related to the crisis in Ukraine. We were forced to cut gas supplies to Ukraine in June of this year because the Kiev authorities refused to pay for delivered gas. In late summer and early fall of this year, a series of intensive consultations in the trilateral format of Russia-EU-Ukraine, during which they discussed the possible mutually acceptable Raspleti on issues of regulation of Ukrainian debts for gas, restarts fuel deliveries to Ukraine, which is itself suspended the Ukrainian side and stable transit of hydrocarbons – energy for Europe. We are ready to continue constructive negotiations on these issues. But if we are talking about further prospects of gas exports from Russia to Europe then it is obvious that the problem of transit through Ukrainian territory still exists. One of the obvious decision is to diversify supply routes -tranzita. In connection with this we calculate that the European Commission will soon regulate the final question on the use of the full capacity of the gas pipeline OPAL.
What is the future of the project “South Stream”, for whose realization Serbia very interested?
Putin: It is necessary to unblock the situation with the “South Stream”. We are confident that this project will provide an important contribution to overall energy security of Europe. Of that will get everyone, and Russia and European consumers, including Serbia.
What do you think is the ultimate goal of economic sanctions the EU and the United States against Russia?
Putin: This question would be more appropriate to place the United States and the EU, whose logic is difficult to understand. For any man who has no preconceived ideas, it is clear that Russia has not supported the coup in Ukraine, the coup that led to immediate and serious internal political crisis and the civil schism. It is unconstitutional takeover of the storm has become a starting point for future events, including events in the Crimea. Understood the complicated and unpredictable developments residents of Crimea, defending their right to mother tongue, culture and history, they decided, in full accordance with the UN Charter, to hold a referendum, according to the results of the referendum peninsula of Crimea is united with Russia. Therefore, our partners must clearly understand that all attempts to pressure Russia over illegitimate unilateral and restrictive steps, not approaching the regulation of our relationship, but only hinder dialogue.
What kind of tendency toward escalation of the conflict in Ukraine can speak, if the decision on the new set of sanctions adopted sanctions introduced almost simultaneously with the achievement of an agreement on the initiation of the peace process? If the main goal of isolating our country, it is quite absurd and illusory goal. It is clear that this goal is impossible to achieve, although, of course, the economic health of Europe and the entire world at all that can be inflicted enormous damage.
Do you and sanctions against Russia can last and how much can harm Russia?
Putin: Regarding the duration of periods of restrictive measures, it also depends on the United States and the EU. From our side, we will access a balanced assessment of risks and consequences of sanctions, and we react to them, starting with the national interest. It is obvious that the reduction of mutual trust can not and do not make a negative impact both on general international business environment, and the activities of European and American companies in Russia, which will not be easily liquidated damages its reputation. At the same time, there are other countries imagine how smart entrust their funds the American banking system and strengthen the dependence of economic cooperation with the United States.
How do you see the future of Russian-Ukrainian relations?
Putin: For Russia, relations with Ukraine have always been and continue to be of great importance. Our peoples are inextricably linked common spiritual, cultural, and civilizational roots. For over a century we are living in a single state, and this vast historical experience, interconnectivity million destiny is not possible to cross out or forgotten. Although it is now created complicated stage in Russian-Ukrainian relations, we are interested in the progressive, equitable and mutually beneficial cooperation with Ukrainian partners. In practice it will be possible after achieving a stable peace and stabilization of the situation in Ukraine. Therefore, we hope to overcome the prolonged deep political and economic crisis. For today appeared a real possibility for the termination of armed conflict, and in fact the civil war. The first steps in this direction have already been made. It is urgently required to start a real dialogue in Ukraine with the participation of representatives of all regions, of all political forces. Such an approach has been recorded in the Geneva declaration of 17 April this year. Within the framework of such opštenacionalnog dialogue is necessary to discuss the relevant issues of constitutional order and the future of the country, in which all citizens of Ukraine, without exception, be able to live comfortably and safely.
Whether between Russia and the United States after all that’s happened again a strategic partnership, or relations will be placed on some other basis?
Putin: As for the prospects of Russian-American relations, we have always sought to open, partner relations with the United States. However, in return we of the United States received various complaints and attempts to interfere in our internal affairs, and what is happening from the beginning of the year even more depressing. Washington has actively supported the “Majdan” in Kiev, and, after his charges in Kiev its unrestrained nationalism provoked resentment significant part of Ukraine and threw the country into civil war, began to blame Russia that she provoked the crisis. Then he and President Barack Obama stands with the UN General Assembly included “Russian aggression in Europe” in the list of the three main threats to mankind today, along with the deadly Ebola fever and terrorist group “Islamic state.”
Together with the restrictions directed against entire sectors of our economy, such an approach is difficult to name different from hostile.
Important center in Nis
Putin: I’m glad you and Serbian entrepreneurs vigorously conquer promising Russian market, delivering high-quality agricultural and industrial products. No, I would like to point out another important sphere of bilateral cooperation. Experts of Russian-Serbian humanitarian center in Nis in the last year have repeatedly participated in the mitigation of consequences of emergency situations in the Balkans. In May this year, at the time of the great flood, Russian rescuers helped to evacuate the residents of flooded areas. Via several flights of aircraft of the Ministry for Emergency Situations of Russia in Serbia was delivered more than 140 tons of Russian humanitarian aid. Thus, evidence of growing mutual interest of citizens of Russia and Serbia, not only humanitarian contacts, there is a cultural area. During the autumn of this year in Serbia successfully conducted Days of Russian Spiritual Culture, the central event of the exhibition “Russia and Serbia. History spiritual connection XIV-XIX century “. We want to expand the practice of cultural, educational, scientific and youth exchanges, to encourage tourist travel and sports događaje.Siguran I will visit Belgrade to give a new impetus to serious traditionally friendly Russian-Serbian relations. Which year after year to grow and strengthen.
Unreasonable to blackmail Russia
Putin: In the United States došloi to public statements about the suspension of cooperation with us in the conquest of space and nuclear energy. Americans have frozen activity of Russian-American Presidential Commission, which was formed in 2009 and in whose composition is entered 21 working groups, including those dealing with the issues of combating terrorism and illicit drug trafficking.
But the current chill in relations between our countries is not the first. We hope that the partners understand the unreasonableness of attempting to blackmail Russia, and will not remember what was fraught with discord between the two major nuclear states when the strategic stability of the world at stake. From our side, we are ready for the development of constructive cooperation based on the principles of equality and respect for the real interest of both …
Gratitude to the Serbian leadership
Arriving in Belgrade to mark the 70 th anniversary of liberation from German fascists. How important are these commemorations?
Putin: First of all I want to express my gratitude to the Serbian leadership for the invitation to come to visit the Republic of Serbia to take part in festive events dedicated to the 70 anniversary of the liberation of Belgrade from the German-fascist invaders.
We are sincerely grateful Serbian friends on careful comparison to the memory of Soviet soldiers, who, together with the fighters of the National Liberation Army of Yugoslavia fought against Hitler’s occupying forces. During the Second World War on the territory of the former Yugoslavia were killed, wounded or missing more than 31,000 soldiers and officers of the Red Army. About 6,000 Soviet citizens fought against the invaders in the ranks of the People’s Liberation Army. Their accomplishment is closer to our common victory over Nazism, and will forever remain in the memories of the people as an example of courage, strong will, self-sacrificing service to the fatherland.
The significance of the upcoming events is difficult to overestimate. Seventy years ago, our nations together brought down the criminal ideology misanthrope who threatened the existence of civilization. Even today, it is important that people in different countries and on different continents to preserve the memory of the kind of terrible consequences may result in the conviction of his own excellence, striving to achieve by any means questionable geopolitical aims, neglect of basic principles of law and morality. Must do everything in order to prevent future similar tragedies.
Unfortunately, the “vaccine” of the Nazi virus that during the Nuremberg process developed in some countries of Europe, losing strength. Clear evidence of the open appearance of neo-Nazism which has become commonplace in Latvia and other Baltic countries. Of particular concern in this context causes the situation in Ukraine, where he performed in February unconstitutional coup that did nationalists and other radical groups.
Today is our common obligation – to oppose Nazism to worship. To strongly resist attempts to audit the outcome of the Second World War. To consistently fight against all forms of racism, xenophobia, aggressive nationalism and chauvinism.
I am convinced that it will contribute to the jubilee celebrations in Belgrade, which should become more an expression of sincere friendship between our peoples, based on feelings of mutual sympathy and respect the spiritual closeness of the brotherhood-in-arms in the Second World War. We expect our preservation of historical memory and continue to work together to help strengthen peace, stability and prosperity of the common European space.