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Efforts to Isolate Russia Have Failed - Putin

© REUTERS / Kevin LamarqueUS-Präsident Donald Trump (l.) und Wladimir Putin vor der Pressekonferenz in Helsinki
US-Präsident Donald Trump (l.) und Wladimir Putin vor der Pressekonferenz in Helsinki - Sputnik International
Many things changed for the better during the meeting with US President Donald Trump in Helsinki, Finland, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview with Fox News on Monday.

"A lot of things changed for the better during today’s meeting," Putin told Fox News on Monday. "This [meeting] is the beginning of a path, this is a start. We did make a good start today."

Vladimir Putin said in an interview that Russia is prepared to extend START nuclear treaty that expires in 2021.

"In 2021, the new START Treaty is about to expire so what are we going to do next?" Putin told Fox News. "I reassured President Trump that Russia stands ready to extend this treaty, to prolong it, but we have to agree on the specifics at first because we have some questions to our American partners."

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Vladimir Putin added that the United States is not fully compliant with the treaty, but that point is for the experts to decide. Vladimir Putin also said that new Russian weapons are being developed in response to US' withdrawal from Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM Treaty) Treaty.

"They were not born out of nowhere. They were born as a response to the unilateral withdrawal of the united States from the ABM Treaty," Vladimir Putin said in an interview.

Moreover, Moscow is hopeful that Russia and the United States will be able to find an acceptable solution for both countries with regards to strategic stability, including the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) treaty, Vladimir Putin said in an interview.

"I do hope that in terms of strategic stability we will be able to find an… acceptable solution for both sides, and that applies to the INF Treaty and the intermediate and short range missiles as well," Putin told Fox News on Monday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin stressed in an interview on Monday that Western efforts to isolate Russia have not succeeded. "I think you see for yourself these efforts failed and they were never bound to succeed," Putin told Fox News when asked about efforts by Western countries to isolate Russia.

Vladimir Putin also highlighted the importance of Russia to international security, the economy and its contribution to the world energy market is too big to be sanctioned or isolated.

The United States and Russia must look for ways to address common challenges and address common concerns, Vladimir Putin said. Monday’s meeting with Trump is a good start, Putin added. Moscow is interested in developing security, strategic stability and economic relations with the US, Putin emphasized in an interview on Monday.

"We are interested in developing our relationship in the area of security, in strategic stability, economic challenges, strategic challenges and any other challenges that we have," Vladimir Putin told Fox News on Monday.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin shake hands as they hold a joint news conference after their meeting in Helsinki, Finland July 16, 2018 - Sputnik International
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When asked about NATO potentially adding Ukraine or Georgia as new military allies, Vladimir Putin said that "moving this NATO infrastructure towards our borders would be a threat… the reaction would be extremely negative."

Putin has also commented on the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. The Russian president stressed that this issue would require international guarantees and Russia stands ready to help.

"I will point out again that I think President Trump contributed a lot, he did a lot to settle this issue, but in order to achieve complete denuclearization of the peninsula it will take international guarantees and Russia stands ready to make its contribution to the extent that it will be necessary," Valdimir Putin said.

Vladimir Putin also said he and Trump discussed the Iranian nuclear program issue. Both leaders are beginning to achieve an understanding of issues of crucial importance to each nation, which marks a change for the better following Monday’s summit in Helsinki, Putin added.

'Ungrounded Accusations': Putin Slams UK Novichok Poison Claims

When asked about the UK charges that Moscow was allegedly behind the Novichok-type nerve agent contamination, Vladimir Putin stressed that London had not provided any evidence on the case.

"We would like to get at least some sort of a document and evidence about it, but nobody gives it to us," Putin told Fox News on Monday.

Vladimir Putin also said the case could be driven by domestic issues in Britain, saying "Nobody wants to look into these."

"We just see the ungrounded accusations… why is it done this way? Why should our relationship be made worse by this?"

US-Russia Ties Should Not Be Held Hostage to Mueller Probe

During the wide-ranging interview, Vladimir Putin also explained his position on the so-called "Russian interference" in the US elections by saying that the issue is basically an outcome of internal American political fights. "These are domestic political games in the United States. It is not necessary to make relations between the US hostage to this internal political struggle," Putin said.

"It is quite clear to me that this is used in the internal political struggle. And American democracy should not be proud of using such dirty methods in political rivalries," he added.

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Moreover, Moscow is surprised Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office has yet to send an official request related to the indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officers given a US-Russian criminal treaty is in place, President Vladimir Putin said in an interview.

"With the United States, we have a treaty for assistance in criminal cases… that exists from 1991. It’s still in force and it works sufficiently today," Putin told Fox News on Monday. "Why wouldn’t Special Counsel Mueller send us an official request within the framework of this agreement? Our investigators would be acting in accordance with this treaty. They will question each individual that American partners are suspecting of something. Why no single request was filed? Nobody sent a single formal letter, formal request. It simply surprises me."

Earlier in the day, during a joint presser with US President Donald Trump in Helsinki, Putin said that Mueller could send an official request to question people named in the indictment. Employees of the Russian prosecutor's office and investigative authorities can conduct this questioning and then send relevant materials to the United States.

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