Putin Considers War with Ukraine Impossible, Has No Imperial Ambitions
Russian President Vladimir Putin dismissed a possible war between Moscow and Kiev and said that he did not harbour any ambitions of reviving the Russian empire.
These statement were made during the annual televised question and answer session, which was held on Thursday.
Putin answered a total of 90 questions during the “Direct Line with Vladimir Putin”, which lasted for three hours and 55 minutes, TASS news agency reports.
According to him, the Western sanctions against Russia were aimed at restraining Moscow and they were no longer related to the developments in Ukraine as the Minsk ceasefire was being respected.
However Putin said that Russia could benefit from the sanctions, as it could become more self-sufficient.
The Russian President dismissed accusations that the Russian army was in Ukraine and aided pro-Russian separatists, Radio Free Europe reports.
Regarding the status of the Donbas region, he said that it will depend on the flexibility of the Ukrainian government, but at the end the local citizens will have the ultimate decision.
Putin also denied the rumours that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko had offered Russia to take over Donbas during the Minsk negotiations.
Putin noted the recent rise of the rouble, which has gained more than 20 % in 2015 after its steep devaluation last year.
According to him, this together with the good harvests were signals of the improving Russian economy, which could be recovered in two years.
He dismissed comparisons between Nazism and Stalinism as the Nazi regime “directly, openly and publicly” called for the annihilation of certain ethnic groups such as the Jews, Roma and Slavs.
As regards the murder of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, Putin described it as “tragic and shameful” and commended the efforts of investigators, who arrested five suspects after the killing.
The Russian President assured that Moscow will never be a vassal of the USA.
As regards the refusal of some Western leaders to attend the Victory Day celebrations on May 9 in Moscow, Putin said that he respected their decisions, but in some cases these were shameful.
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