Russian President Vladimir Putin says the perception about Russia’s alleged aggressiveness is an illusion perpetrated by western leaders.
Speaking at a press conference at the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, Putin said that Moscow has no aggressive intentions towards any country. But warned that other countries’ policies will always be met with a symmetrical response.
“I want to tell you the good news – we don’t have any intentions to carry out aggressive actions against anyone,” Putin replied when asked if Russia is ready to “choose a different path” in order to improve ties with the UK and the West.
“[Russia’s aggressiveness] is an illusion, wishful thinking to have a foreign adversary whose presence is good for solving domestic policy issues.”
Rt.com reports: An enormously tense meeting between Putin and Theresa May made headlines on Friday, as did the prime minister’s icy handshake and a warning that there will be no improvement of bilateral ties until Moscow stops “the irresponsible and destabilizing activity” against the UK.
While Moscow has no plans to intimidate anyone, its actions “will always mirror those of our partners,” Russian president argued.
“We’ll treat others the same way we’re treated by them. I want everyone to remember this.”
That said, Russia is more than interested in “improving” ties with London and other Western countries. “Common sense”should, and hopefully will, prevail, he added.
Putin and May spent more than an hour talking about the strained UK-Russia relations during the G20 summit. The one-on-one meeting was far from friendly, with May raising the Salisbury incident and stressing that there can’t be “business as usual” after former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter were poisoned by what London claims was a Russian-made nerve agent. Moscow denies the allegations, pointing out the inconsistencies and accusing London of trying to hush up parts of investigation.
Putin earlier commented on the Skripal case, telling the Financial Times that there’s no irrefutable evidence of Russia’s guilt. He also said the “spy scandal” has resulted in a deadlock in relations, which harms both businesses and the public.