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Russian Federation 'not trying to split EU', says Putin
08 June 2018, 05:13 | Max Haynes
Mikhael Klimentyev Sputnik
Putin also said the government will be looking to streamline the tax system in order to fight poverty, but denied speculation that Russian Federation was considering abandoning its flat-rate income tax. "This in my view is very important - at this level a mutual respect has to exist in all circumstances, and a personal relationship can become a tool for solving global issues", said the Russian President.
Putin boasted that he warned of the growing risk of the USA imposing its rules on other countries in a 2007 speech in Munich, saying, "Nobody wanted to listen and nobody did anything to stop this from developing".
Putin, who won a landslide re-election victory in March, has taken part in the annual phone-in since 2001, using it to cast himself as a decisive troubleshooter on the home front and as a staunch defender of Russia's interests on the world stage.
Putin also compared the trade tariffs announced by President Donald Trump on USA allies to Western sanctions against Russian Federation. The two countries aim to boost co-operation in areas such as infrastructure, energy, scientific research and high tech.
Putin noted that all Russian plans and projects in Kurdistan are legitimate, emphasizing that such relations do not intend to create conflicts but aim at developing ties with Iraq and all its components, including the Kurdistan Region.
It was the latest example - on the heels of last month's elaborately choreographed presidential inauguration and Putin's opening of a new bridge to Crimea - of the Kremlin's work to hone the theater of Putin's made-for-TV presidency.
Mr Van der Bellen said: "Austria has always strived to contribute to reducing tensions and we will do so now and in the future".
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Russia is hosting the World Cup from June 14 to July 15 in 11 Russian cities including Rostov-on-Don, some 100 km (60 miles) from the border with Ukraine.
More surprisingly, Putin said that he deploys informal terms when talking to Emmanuel Macron, despite what must have been several tense conversations over sanctions and Syria in the past year.
"Yes, every country has its own interests, but they should not be advanced via egotistical political methods", Putin said, adding that many of Russia's partners are beginning to realize this.
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said, "We believe a win-win situation is more beneficial to both sides than a lose-lose situation".
"To go forward together one with the other is better than one against the other".
The trip comes a month before Austria takes over the rotating European Union presidency in July, and a week before Russian, Ukrainian, German and French foreign ministers meet in Berlin on 11 June to discuss the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
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