Interfax: Putin says discussing anti-Russian sanctions at G20 summit useless

Truck at Russian Border Crossing

MOSCOW. Nov 14 (Interfax) – Russian President Vladimir Putin says it would be useless to initiate a discussion of anti-Russian sanctions at the G20 summit in Australia and denies cooling in relations with German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel.

“If the subject [of sanctions] is raised, I will speak about it, of course, but I am not going to raise these questions for discussion myself. The way I see it, it will be useless. All understand what they are doing, I mean, those who impose the sanctions. What’s the use of drawing attention to this matter or asking for something? It’ll make no sense,” Putin said.

“Such decisions are made at the level of blocs or at the national level; they are made based on how our partners perceive their geopolitical interests. I believe that’s just a mistake, even from the standpoint of their geopolitical interests,” the Russian president continued.

Putin said he hoped to discuss the development of international relations with G20 partners. “Regrettably, today’s world exists within a very narrow horizon of planning, in particular, in the sphere of politics and security. Everybody lives from election to election. This is a very narrow planning horizon. It leaves no opportunities for taking a broader perspective, for looking into a more distant future. That’s bad. But I hope that we shall discuss this,” Putin added.

The president said he would have a number of bilateral meetings on the G20 summit sidelines, including one with German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel. He disagreed with the opinion that his relations with the German chancellor had become more strained lately.

“No, I have not [noticed that]. You know that we are guided by interests instead of sympathies and antipathies,” Putin said, stressing that happened “not just in the past, but always.”

“And she [Merkel] had also been guided by same interests, just like any other leader of a nation, state or government. This is why I see neither considerable changes nor any substantial alterations in the nature of our relations,” he said.

Putin admitted that he had not received a reaction from foreign leaders to his global security speech at the Valdai Club and said it would take time to think the issue over “in the calm of their offices”.

“No, nothing happens that quickly. It takes time for someone to actually hear and understand what I had actually said. It must be all well digested at the administrative, governmental and presidential levels, starting with aides and experts. It needs discussions, without any clamor or senseless chirping, which are usually attributed to such forums as the Valdai Club. It is better to talk in the calm of our offices,” the Russian president said.

Putin also mentioned the U.S. neglect of G20 forum decisions. “For instance, at one of the G20 summits a decision was made to enhance the role of developing economies in the activities of the IMF and to redistribute quotas. The US Congress blocked that decision,” he said.

“The very fact that the US Congress has refused to pass this law indicates that it is the United States that drops out of the general context of resolving the problems facing the international community,” he emphasized.

“Some capitalize on their world mass media monopoly to hush up this information, to make an impression it does not really exist. You see, everyone is talking about some current problems, including the sanctions and Russia, but in reality, in global terms, it is the United States that neglects the decisions being made. This is a fundamental thing, by the way, but it is being neglected,” Putin said in an interview with the TASS news agency.