Published: Fri, June 08, 2018
Entertaiment | By Mabel Barber

Russian Federation 'not trying to split EU', says Putin

Russian Federation 'not trying to split EU', says Putin

The event, which this year lasted nearly five hours, allows Russians to submit questions on any theme and has in the past seen the president talk on topics as varied as his love life, Crimea and the state of provincial roads.

Wait, what about World War III?

Putin, 65, and his aides say it is an indispensable tool to gauge public sentiment and learn about people's real problems.

As Putin said, "the understanding of the fact that World War III might become the end of the current civilization" should keep the world powers from rash and risky actions on the global arena.

There were no questions about Russian interference in the 2016 USA presidential race, but Putin brought up the subject.

Asked about his interactions with U.S. President Donald Trump, Putin said political infighting in Washington was hampering their contacts.

"The 13 people indicted are accused of an elaborate plot to disrupt the USA election that allegedly included running a huge social media campaign from their headquarters in St. Petersburg, dubbed the "'troll farm". This is a complete nonsense.

"They will be sitting by the television with bated breath... with a phone in one hand and a sedative in their pocket", the Komsomolskaya Pravda tabloid joked.

Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found unconscious in March on a bench at a shopping center in Salisbury.

Moscow's ties with European Union countries remain strained after Russia's annexation of Crimea, its involvement in Syria and eastern Ukraine, and the poisoning of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in England.

"If, as Britain claims, a military-grade agent was used against these people, they would've died in a matter of minutes or seconds".

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The Skripals spent months in a British hospital being treated for their exposure to Novichok.

He warned neighboring Ukraine that if it tried to make any military moves against pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine while Russia hosts the impending soccer World Cup, it would suffer.

Putin has variously denied Russian meddling and said that "patriotically minded" hackers may have been involved separately from the Russian government. "If this happens I think it would have very serious consequences for the Ukrainian government in general".

He stated that sports sites built for the upcoming FIFA World Cup must not be 'turned into markets like the ones seen across the country in the 1990s from June 14 to July 15'.

What about the USA trade policies?

Putin did not have much to say on the specific allegations that a Russian missile was responsible for the downing of the plane, except to cast doubt on the worldwide investigation and say that Ukraine shot down a passenger plane by mistake in 2001.

And what about plans to pull the Russian military out of Syria?

In December, Putin flew to Syria and declared Russia's mission accomplished, ordering a "significant part" of its contingent to start withdrawing.

"We are not yet planning a withdrawal of these military forces", he said.

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