Putin says relations with Biden ‘working and stable’


MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin He said Wednesday that the Kremlin has “constructive” relations with Washington and expressed hope that mutual interests would eventually help normalize relations between the United States and Russia.
Putin, speaking during a panel discussion at an international energy conference in Moscow, also said that Russia he is ready to boost natural gas supplies to help calm nervous energy markets in Europe, insisting that his country wants prices to remain stable.
He rejected accusations by some European experts and politicians that Russia has been delaying gas deliveries and causing energy prices to skyrocket. The Russian leader also rejected criticism of an ongoing national crackdown on dissent and the independent media.
Putin vigorously defended a Russian law requiring those who receive foreign funds and engage in unspecified political activities to register as “foreign agents,” describing it as a quid pro quo response to a US law that has been used to attack the media. communication centers in the United States. State.
Critics say Russian law has been used to muzzle critical media, as the stigma of the “foreign agent” carries strong pejorative connotations and entails stricter government scrutiny.
Dmitry Muratov, who won the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for his work as editor of the independent Russian newspaper. Novaya Gazeta, he wondered if the authorities would designate his newspaper as a “foreign agent.”
When asked Wednesday if that was a possibility, Putin He replied that Muratov should not worry “if he does not violate Russian law and does not give a pretext for being appointed as a foreign agent.”
“But if you try to protect yourself with the Nobel Peace Prize to do something that violates Russian law, it would mean that you would do it deliberately to attract attention or for some other reason,” the president added.
Putin also spoke scathingly of the jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei. Navalny, accusing that he was trying to “obtain commercial advantages by protecting himself with political activities.”
By his custom, Putin did not mention Navalny by name.
Navalny, Putin’s most uncompromising political enemy, was jailed this year after returning to Russia from Germany, where he was recovering from nerve agent poisoning that he attributes to the Kremlin.
the Krenlin denies the accusation. He received a two-and-a-half-year prison term for violating the terms of a suspended sentence of an embezzlement conviction in 2014 that he dismissed on political grounds.
Commenting on relations between Russia and the United States, Putin said that Russia’s relations with the Biden The administration has been “quite constructive” and he has personally developed “stable and working relationships” with the president. Joe biden.
“Mutual interests will undoubtedly lead to the normalization of our ties, and the American political establishment will stop speculating on Russian-American relations to the detriment of its own interests,” he said.
Putin added that Russian diplomats and US Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland discussed possible additional contacts between the two presidents after their June summit in Geneva.
In comments tweeted by the US Embassy in Moscow, Nuland said he “highly appreciated the frank and productive review of US-Russian relations” with Putin’s foreign affairs adviser. Yuri Ushakovon Wednesday, adding that “we remain committed to a stable and predictable relationship.”
The Kremlin has yet to say whether Putin will travel to Rome to attend the Group of 20 summit later this month, which Biden will attend.
When asked about Russia’s efforts to develop new weapons, Putin said they came in response to Washington’s decision in 2002 to withdraw from a Cold War-era treaty banning ballistic missile defenses.
He said the move threatened to undermine Russia’s nuclear deterrent.
He noted that “an arms race is ongoing,” but added that Russia was ready to discuss its new weapons in arms control talks with the United States.

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