Russian President Vladimir Putin is trying to separate Europe from the U.S., perhaps as a way of trying divide the superpower from the rest of its NATO allies. Today, Putin is saying the U.S. should pretty much, mind its own business and let Russia and the rest of Europe be friends.
Recently, the U.S. and the rest of NATO has been conducting large scale military exercises in order to remain prepared to counter Russian aggression. This is despite the fact that Moscow had said it had no plans to attack a NATO ally.
During a plenary session of the International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg, Putin pointed out that even if the U.S. is perhaps “the only superpower” in the world, the country should not “interfere in our affairs, telling us how to live, and preventing Europe from building a relationship with us.”
Forging a relationship, after all, is the Russian president’s end goal here. He even remarked that despite the “current breakdown, problems and sanctions,” Russia doesn’t “hold a grudge” against its European neighbors.
Putin was trying to promote a possible economic partnership between the European Union and the Eurasian Economic Union. It is an initiative said to have proposed by the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev.
It is a plan that would see European and Asian countries engaging in talks regarding investment and trade along with customs administration and technical regulation. And as far as previous investments go, Putin pointed out that Russia had actually invested as much as €1.2 billion for “high-tech joint projects” throughout Europe.
At the same time, Putin has not forgotten about the sanctions imposed on Russia by both the EU and the U.S. He remarked that such sanctions do not affect the U.S. in any significant way. Putin explained, “It could not care less about these sanctions because the consequences of our actions in response have no impact on it. They impact Europe but not the United States. Zero effect.”
Nonetheless, Putin pointed out the last thing Russia needs is another Cold War. “We certainly do not. There is no need for this,” the Russian president says. However, he also believes that portraying Russia as “an external adversary” is the only thing that justifies the existence of NATO.