Published: Thu, July 04, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Russian Federation dislikes arms race but has to protect itself: Putin

Russian Federation dislikes arms race but has to protect itself: Putin

Economic realities including the fluctuating global oil prices are among factors interfering with the Russian government's economic program, President Vladimir Putin said in an interview with Italian Corriere della Serra ahead of a state visit to Rome.

"I want to make this very clear: we have not interfered and do not intend to interfere in the internal affairs of either European Union member states or any other states", he said.

Before talks with Conte and President Sergio Mattarella, Putin will have his third meeting with Pope Francis.

Putin said that economic relations with Italy, Russia's fifth-largest trading partner, are expanding despite the sanctions.

The Kremlin says Putin wants to discuss Russia-EU relations, the situation in Syria, Ukraine and Libya and Iran's nuclear programme with Italy's populist pro-Russian government.

In 2015, the pope urged Putin to make a "sincere and great effort" to help bring peace to eastern Ukraine, where fighting between Ukrainian government forces and the separatists has killed some 13,000 people since April 2014.

Francis first met Putin in 2013, as the Roman Catholic Church sought to improve ties with the Russian Orthodox Church.

Putin will be driven around in his six-metre-long armoured limo by a chauffeur who has been practising negotiating his way around the Eternal City's narrow streets, but his talks with Italian leaders should be easier.

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On Friday, leaders of Ukraine's Catholic Church begin two days of meetings at the Vatican to discuss various problems in their former Soviet republic.

Vladimir Putin has signed a bill suspending Russia's participation in a pivotal nuclear arms pact with the United States.

"This visit by President Putin is going to play a big role in promoting additional economic and investment cooperation projects between Italy and Russia", Dmitriev said.

TASS quoted Kremlin Aide Yuri Ushakov as telling reporters that "a whole range" of trade-related documents will be signed on the sidelines of Putin's meeting with the Italian leaders, without being specific. Russian Federation has the political willingness to do it.

Mueller's investigation has concluded that Russian agents interfered to help Trump win the 2016 U.S. presidential elections, but said there was not enough evidence to establish active collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

"Recently, it seems that Washington has started to reflect about stepping up dialogue with Russian Federation over a wide strategic agenda", Putin added.

On the eve of the visit, Putin praised Salvini and his Lega party for having a "welcoming attitude" to Russian Federation.

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