SOCHI, January 11. Western sanctions in return for a fair reunification of the Crimea with Russia – this is a foolish and harmful decision. This opinion was expressed by the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin in interview to German daily Bild, stressing that the sanctions are a positive effect.
“You know, the Russian population is healthy and heart, and the mind realizes what is happening. Napoleon once said that justice is the embodiment of God on earth. Here is the reunification of the Crimea with Russia it is a fair decision”, – stressed the head of state.
Putin expects a gradual lifting of the Russian economy, despite the decline in GDP by 3.8% in 2015.
He added that, in his opinion, the reaction of the Western partners on this decision “was erroneous and does not focus on the support of Ukraine and to curb the growth of Russia”.
“It seems to me that this should not be done, this is the main error and have to use each other for mutual growth, for the joint solution of problems we face”, – Putin said, calling the Western sanctions “a stupid and harmful decision”.
He has acknowledged the negative impact of sanctions on the Russian economy, in particular due to restrictions on the release of Russian Federation and Russian companies to foreign financial markets.
“As for the greatest harm, which is applied to the current situation, of course, first of all, harm our economy harm from lower prices in traditional export commodities,” – said Putin, speaking of a sharp drop in oil prices over the last 1.5 years.
At the same time, according to the President, in these difficulties there is a “negative, but, strangely enough, there are also positive things.”
“When oil prices are high, it is very difficult to refrain from use of oil revenues to current expenditure. And the oil and gas deficit has grown, in my opinion, to a very dangerous line. Now we have to decrease it. And this heals” – he explained.
According to Putin, “it is very difficult to resist in order to spend on current expenditure income from oil and gas.” “And when revenues are high, then it is destimulate own development, especially in high-tech industries”, – said the President, stressing that the decline of these oil and gas spending heals the economy.
Russia ready to compromise with EU
Putin also noted that Russia is ready to compromise with the EU, but under condition of uniform understanding and mutual respect for international law.
Putin: NATO enlargement is not allowed to leave the format of relations of the “cold war”
“We are ready to do so (to defend national interests) not confrontation, we are ready to compromise, but, of course, on the basis of international law, uniformly all understand”, – he said.
Meanwhile, Putin stressed that the protection of the interests of Russia remains for him a priority. “You asked me Your humble servant, friend or not friend?” – he said to the journalist. “Relations between States are built a little differently, not as relations between people. I am not a friend, not the bride and not the groom, I’m the President of the Russian Federation, 146 million people – these people have their interests, and I am obliged to defend them”, – said the Russian leader.
According to him, to build constructive relations between States “should at least follow always one thing, one condition we need to respect each other, respect each other and adhere to the same rules and not change them every time is beneficial to anyone”. As an example, the policy of double standards, Putin cited the reaction of the West to self-determination of Kosovars and Crimeans.
The Russian President recalled that democracy is the will of the people, that is, in Kosovo and in Crimea people want to live the way they voted. “For me important is not the territory and the boundaries and destinies of people”, – stressed the head of state. “Now, I want to ask you: if the Kosovars in Kosovo have the right to self-determination, why the people of Crimea do not have the same rights exactly?” – he asked the correspondent.
Putin: Russia had better declare my interests a quarter-century ago
Putin placed particular emphasis on the importance of adherence to international law. “In the case of Crimea violated international law, Putin said. – In accordance with the UN Charter every nation has the right to self-determination”. He recalled that in the case of Kosovo the international court of justice has determined that in deciding on the sovereignty of the opinion of the Central government can be ignored. “Take, if you are a serious publication, honest to my readers, raise up from the archives of the statement by the representative of Germany at the International court and cite it. Take the letter, in my opinion, the American state Department wrote, or the statement by the representative of the United Kingdom. Take and read what is written there. Kosovo declared its independence, and the whole world accepted it, in fact, know how? The decision of the Parliament. They didn’t even hold a referendum,” – said the Russian leader. In Crimea, according to him, the legitimate Parliament voted for independence, called for a referendum and the people voted for the reunification with Russia, because scared of what happened in Kiev a coup d’état and the threats against Russian-speaking.
“What have we done? We did not fight, did not occupy anyone, never been shot, no one died as a result of events in Crimea. No! – said the President of the Russian Federation. – We used military Force only to restrain were there twenty thousand troops of Ukraine from interfering in the free will of people living there. People came to the referendum and voted. They wanted to be part of Russia”.