Russia will never be vassal of U. S., says Putin

(AGI) Rome, April 16 - The Russian economy remains strong, saidPresident Vladimir Putin in a live TV broadcast, despitesanctions imposed by the West following its actions in Ukraine.He also used a question-and-answer session with the public toattack Kiev for what he called isolating its eastern regions."Moscow does not consider anybody to be its enemy. If anything,it is the U.S. who don't need allies but vassals," he said. Theannual marathon-interview with the president was overshadowedby the news of the killing of Oles Buzina, a pro-Russianjournalist, who was shot at the door of

(AGI) Rome, April 16 - The Russian economy remains strong, saidPresident Vladimir Putin in a live TV broadcast, despitesanctions imposed by the West following its actions in Ukraine.He also used a question-and-answer session with the public toattack Kiev for what he called isolating its eastern regions."Moscow does not consider anybody to be its enemy. If anything,it is the U.S. who don't need allies but vassals," he said. Theannual marathon-interview with the president was overshadowedby the news of the killing of Oles Buzina, a pro-Russianjournalist, who was shot at the door of his home in Kiev by twohooded men on Thursday. This was "not the first politicalmurder in Ukraine," said the president. Moscow's realenemies are terrorism and international crime, he told the TVaudience, but he also criticised Kiev for cutting off theRussian-speaking eastern Donbass regions. "The Minsk agreementsneed to be implemented - we are doing everything to implementthem, the Kiev authorities are in no hurry, but the sanctionsagainst us remain," he said. They are aimed at impedingRussia's development, Mr Putin said, but the economy and theRuble remained stable and inflation is under control. Heclaimed there are no "Red troops" in Ukraine's eastern regionsand assured a caller that "a war between Russia and Ukraine isimpossible". He also defended the decision to give green lightto the sale of S-300 missiles to Tehran, as they could be adeterrent for wars in the region. "Today Iran's partners areshowing great flexibility and an evident wish to reachcompromise on Iran's nuclear programme." This was why Russiasaw no reason to maintain the ban, he said. At home theworst of Russia's problems are over. Its economy will startgrowing in less than two years, he said. The murder ofopposition leader Boris Nemtsov was a "tragic and shamefulevent", but he praised the work of investigators. He said fivepeople, all of Chechen origin, were arrested 36 hours after thekilling, and one was believed to have committed the murder. Heremained vague, however, on bringing to justice those whoordered the killing. "I don't know, it will become clearer asthe investigation proceeds," he said. (AGI). .

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