Putin's visit to enhance Russia-China ties: Chinese Foreign Ministry

Saul Bowman
June 9, 2018

After a conversation with Putin, trump expressed the desire to meet him "in the near future to discuss the arms race, which go out of control", as well as Ukraine, Syria and North Korea.

"Donald said he was anxious about the possibility of a new arms race", Putin said of a recent call with Trump, CNN reported.

Putin stressed that Russia's air base at Hemeimeem and the naval base in Tartous, which he said are important for helping the Syrian government, do not host any permanent facilities, which means the Russian military can be withdrawn quickly if necessary.

The Russian president said that the top priority of the Russian Dream, which he mentioned in his State of the Union address in May, is to improve the lives of the country's people as much as possible.

"I hope that there won't be any provocations, but if it happens I think it would have very serious consequences for Ukrainian statehood in general". Putin also recalled reports of Russia's interference in the USA elections, saying that if the two statements were combined, it would be "funny".

The Russian president issued a stern warning to Ukraine not to undertake any attacks on Moscow-backed separatists in the eastern part of the country during the upcoming soccer World Cup. "And secondly, we regularly talk over the phone", he said. They have met in person twice - once at a formal bilateral meeting in Germany and once on the sidelines of a leaders' summit in Vietnam. They spoke nine times in 2015 and 2016.

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, whom Putin meets in Vienna on Tuesday, is in the favor of lifting European Union sanctions against Russian Federation if there is progress on the Ukraine dispute.

In a recent interview with the newspaper Oesterreich, Strache made his position clear.

"It is high time to put an end to these exasperating sanctions and normalize political and economic relations with Russia", Strache said.

Critics say the event, being held a week before the World Cup starts, is a stage-managed piece of theatre created to let Russians let off steam and fleetingly feel as if they can influence a bureaucratic, top-down system.

In March this year, the defense ministry said a total of 2,954 Russian troops in Syria had voted in presidential polls, giving an idea of current numbers.

"It is not our aim to divide anything or anybody in Europe".

He compared the tariffs to the Western sanctions imposed on Russian Federation, claiming European countries had now fallen foul of the United States in the same way.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed last week that Putin was interested in meeting with Kim, possibly because of the economic potential of a more capitalistic North Korea, which shares a border with Russian Federation.

Putin has variously denied Russian meddling and said that "patriotically minded" hackers may have been involved separately from the Russian government.

"It is not true".

"Overall, we are moving completely in the right direction".

One way or another, Putin is widely expected to continue calling the shots in Russian Federation even after his current term ends.

"My presidential term has just begun".

Responding to speculation that authorities might be looking to scrap the flat income tax, Putin said his government has decided that this is "not expedient" at this point.

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