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President Vladimir Putin speaks at the SPIEF, 2021. Still from RT

Putin: US is following in the footsteps of USSR

The Kremlin chief believes that the United States is reproducing the mistakes made by the USSR and which led to its dissolution. Vladimir Putin will be meeting with US President Joe Biden soon.

Published: June 6, 2021, 9:40 am

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    St Petersburg

    In its relations with other countries, the United States is following in the footsteps of the Soviet Union, Vladimir Putin said in a meeting with news agency editors at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).

    “What does the problem of empires consist of?” They believe themselves to be so powerful that they can afford small mistakes and inaccuracies: we will buy them, we will intimidate them, we will find an agreement with them ”, declared the Russian President. According to him, in such a scenario, the number of problems gradually increases until a moment arrives when “we can no longer manage them”.

    “And the United States is following, with a confident step, the same path followed by the Soviet Union”, estimated the head of the Kremlin.

    Putin’s statements come against the backdrop of the unprecedented deterioration of Russian-American relations since the breakup of the USSR. Already damaged by the Ukraine crisis, relations between Moscow and Washington experienced another difficult moment after the United States accused Russia of meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

    Last March, Joe Biden answered yes to the question of whether he considered his Russian counterpart to be a killer. The next day, Vladimir Putin replied to the tenant of the White House using a proverb that could be translated as “It is he who says who is”.

    Towards the summit of Geneva

    On June 16, the two Presidents will meet in Geneva for their first bilateral summit. Earlier in the week, Putin assured that he would try to find a way to improve relations with the United States during the meeting.

    However, he insisted on stressing that Washington wanted to “contain” Russia, from which, according to him, the political tensions between the countries arose.

    Before his first meeting with his American counterpart, the Russian president spoke about the turbulent relations which he considered “hostages of internal political considerations in the United States”. He said Washington was responsible for the deterioration of Russian-American relations.

    Russia has existed, exists and will continue to exist “We are not the ones who put Russian-American relations in their current state. We did not take any measures in the first place to damage Russian-American relations. It is the United States which imposed and continues to impose sanctions against us, on the slightest pretext and even without any pretext, only because we exist! But we will have to get used to it: Russia has existed, exists and will continue to exist,” said Putin, with reference to the American sanctions targeting his country, to which Moscow responded with counter-sanctions, in particular via the expulsion of diplomats.

    Since April , the two countries no longer have ambassadors in their respective capitals.

    Ten days before his meeting with Joe Biden, which he hoped would take place in “a positive spirit”, Putin said he wanted to address issues where the two countries have common interests. Putin nevertheless confided that he did not expect “a breakthrough” from this meeting.

    “We are not deluding ourselves and we are not trying to give the impression that there will be a breakthrough, historic decisions leading to fundamental changes”, the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov already stated on June 1.

    Russian-American tensions have in recent years been fueled by several cases. Washington recently blamed Russian hackers for cyber attacks targeting the global meat giant JBS and the operator of a huge US pipeline in the United States. On June 4, the Russian leader assured that Moscow was not behind these attacks, calling them “absurd” accusations: “The competent American services must find the extortionist. It is certainly not Russia,” he told Pervy Kanal channel.

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