Putin calls US anti-Russia election campaign rhetoric ‘big mistake’
"Unfortunately, the United States developed a fashion to speculate and, I’d say, abuse the Russian issue during election campaigns. Then they tell us, ‘Don't you pay attention to this! You need to understand that this is just election rhetoric, we will come to agreement with you later.’ But sacrificing international relations in the course of current political processes is, I believe, a big mistake," Putin said in his interview with US filmmaker Oliver Stone for documentary series, the first part of which was broadcast by the Showtime channel late on Monday.
According to the president, Moscow cannot welcome Pentagon’s statements about Russia being the main threat to the United States.
"On the contrary, we were always ready for the dialogue pretty much on any track of cooperation," Putin said.
Putin also believes that Western media call him Tzar because they like such an old stereotype.
"They seem to like it, that's why they talk about it. They cannot get rid of these old stereotypes," Putin said.
The US spends large amounts on defense while it should focus on building equal relations with Russia instead, Russian President said.
"In 2016, under various estimations, [the US spent] more than $600 billion [on defense]. This, of course, is beyond limits. This is more than all the countries of the world spend for this purpose put together," Putin said.
"The main thing that Russia has, is its people with its self-consciousness. This people cannot exist outside its sovereignty, its statehood, and this understanding, and not the threat of a retaliatory nuclear strike, should set all our Western partners on building long-term equitable relations with Russia. And then one will not need to spend such money on defense," Putin said.
The first part of the documentary series was aired by the Showtime broadcaster on Monday night.
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