Putin urges West to pursue ties based on equality

2014-07-01 19:23
ussia's President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting at the Bocharov Ruchei residence in Sochi. (Alexey Druzhinin, AFP)

ussia's President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting at the Bocharov Ruchei residence in Sochi. (Alexey Druzhinin, AFP)

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Moscow - Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday urged the West to build cooperation with Russia based on equality and said the conflict raging in Ukraine was the culmination of Western efforts to contain Russia.

"We should clearly understand that the events provoked in Ukraine have become the essence of the proverbial politics of containment," Putin told ambassadors and envoys in a key speech laying out his foreign policy priorities.

"Let me stress that what has happened in Ukraine is the culmination of negative tendencies in global affairs and they have been accumulating for years. We have long warned about them."

The tough-talking Kremlin strongman showed little appetite for compromise and reiterated his criticism of Western efforts to dominate world politics, saying Russia would not tolerate efforts to be pushed aside.

"I am hoping that the West will begin to build ties based on equal rights, mutual respect and taking mutual interests into account," he said.

"I am hoping that pragmatism will finally prevail, that the West will get rid of ambitions, of a desire to set up a global barracks: to place everyone according to the pecking order, to impose unified rules of behaviour and life."

"It's time to acknowledge each other's right to be different, a right of every country to build its life as it sees fit."

Russia is locked in its biggest post-Cold War showdown with the West over Ukraine, where the United States and its allies say the Kremlin is backing pro-Moscow separatists in the east.

The West has slapped sanctions against some of Putin's key allies and warned of a new round of punitive measures targeting Russia's already struggling economy if Moscow does not persuade Ukrainian rebels to lay down their arms.

European diplomats said on Tuesday that Brussels was preparing new sanctions against Russia after the latest push to extend the truce in Ukraine failed despite support from Germany and France.

Putin laid the blame for the failure of the peace talks at Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's feet, saying he was now assuming full "political" responsibility for the renewed military operation in the east.

Read more on:    vladimir putin  |  russia  |  ukraine
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