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Putin decries U.S. trade tariffs, Western sanctions in marathon phone

Inauguration of Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin reviews a guard of honor upon Putin's arrival at Hofburg palace on June 5, 2018 in Vienna, Austria.

Russian President Vladimir Putin posed for a picture with volunteers after his annual Question and Answer live-broadcast TV and radio session on Thursday.

"Both those who initiate these actions and those such measures that we call sanctions are aimed against find them harmful", Putin said in Vienna on Tuesday, claiming that European countries were merely "finding it hard to say so".

Another hypersonic missile is already in service, said Putin.

In response to a question calling on him to enact sanctions against Latvia for allegedly mistreating ethnic Russians there, Putin said he wanted to resolve the situation with talks and not with any measures that would make matters worse. "The understanding that a third world war could be the end of civilization should restrain us from taking extreme steps on the worldwide arena that are highly unsafe for modern civilization".

Replying to a question about worldwide pressure against Moscow, Putin explained that these accusations and sanctions are aimed at containing Russia's development.

Putin said that Russian Federation has been warning Europe about US dominance for years, and "now, with the prospect of trade wars, Europe has begun to listen".

What did he say about the Sergei Skripal debacle?

Giuliani says Kim Jong Un 'begged' for summit
Topping their demands is the elimination of "all nuclear, chemical and biological weapons from North Korea". Rajaratnam School of International Studies, told AFP.

"If they were poisoned by military-grade poison, why did they not die?" he said.

"Overall, we are heading in the right direction", he said. It's an open secret in Vienna that Mr. Kurz wants to lobby the European Union to loosen the sanctions, but he'll need the support of Germany and France.

However "the withdrawal of the USA from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty was an attempt to break that strategic parity", he added.

According to Putin, the best jokes he's heard recently were claims about Donald Trump "pushing Europe into Putin's arms" and about Russia's alleged meddling in USA elections.

Questions posted ahead of the event included asking Putin whether he planned to meet U.S. President Donald Trump this year, whether relations with the West would improve anytime soon, how he planned to reduce poverty, and why petrol prices were rising so fast.

"So, we influenced the USA elections, and he gifted us Europe in return?" he asked.

The president added the continued presence of Russian troops in the country would provide "invaluable experience" in the testing of new Russian weapons. "Complete nonsense", Putin remarked, noting that such a statement can only be regarded as a joke. The country also continues to be a major hub for the import of Russian gas into Europe, and saw trade with Russia increase by 40% over the a year ago, in spite of the sanction regime.

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