Russian President Vladimir Putin said that there is no need for the West to fear his country as Moscow and Washington are allies in dealing with global issues.
“There is no need to fear Russia,” Putin said in an interview to the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera prior to his visit to Italy next week, Xinhua reported.
“The world has changed so drastically that people with some common sense cannot even imagine such a large-scale military conflict today,” he said.
“We have other things to think about, I assure you.” Russia and the US are “not just partners” but “allies” in addressing issues from the Iranian nuclear programme to the fight against terrorism, and to the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, Putin said in the interview published on the Kremlin website.
Putin denied that Russia has been speaking with anyone in a contentious tone, saying everything it does is just a response to threats.
“The US military spending is higher than that of all other countries in the world taken together. The aggregate military spending of NATO countries is 10 times higher than that of Russia,” he said.
“What we do is limited in scope and scale, which is, however, sufficient to ensure our security,” he added.
Commenting on the situation in the Ukraine where breach of ceasefire deals has been on the rise recently, Putin called for the full and unconditional implementation of the new Minsk agreement, because “there is no other way to settle the conflict today.”
Putin criticised Kiev for its reluctance to talk with the insurgents in eastern Ukraine, and urged the US and Europe to exercise their influence over the Ukrainian authorities.
“The problem is that Kiev doesn’t even want to sit down to talks with them. And there is nothing we can do about it,” Putin said. “Only our European and American partners can influence this situation. There is no need to threaten us with sanctions.”
Meanwhile, he vowed to contact the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk republics in order to ensure the implementation of the Minsk agreement.
Moscow has sent out some positive signals over its ties with Washington following U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to Russia in early May.
Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday that reciprocal cooperation between Russia and the US is crucial for the international community to successfully resolve many global problems.
“Moscow has always stood for maintaining good and mutually beneficial relations with the US based on respect for reciprocal interests,” said the spokesman.