Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday he does not consider the United States a threat to Russia, but noted that erroneous policies by the Obama administration harm mutual interests and trust.
“I don’t think the United States pose a threat to us, but I believe that policies carried out by [US] ruling circles are erroneous,” Putin said at the meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi.
“I believe that core strategic interests of the American people, the Russian people coincide in many ways, and these mutual interests should be used as a basis [for relations between two countries],” Putin added.
Russia-US relations worsened in the light of the Ukrainian crisis, with the West accusing Moscow of meddling in Ukraine’s internal affairs and escalating the crisis in the country, although Russia denied its involvement. The reunification of Crimea with Russia in March also contributed to the cooling of the relations between the two countries.
The United States, alongside the European Union and some other Western countries, went on to implement several rounds of sanctions against Russia, targeting not only certain individuals, but also finance, defense and energy sectors of the Russian economy.