On trends in global politics
"It's time we recognized each other's right to be different, the right of every country to build its life on its own, not at anyone's obtrusive instructions," he said.
Russia is consistently pursuing a foreign policy, "based on the belief that solutions to global and regional problems should be sought through cooperation and through a search for compromises, not through confrontation," Putin said.
"We advocate the rule of international law maintaining the UN's leading role. International law must be mandatory for all. It must not be used selectively to serve the interests of individual selected countries or groups of states," the Russian president said.
"Most important, it must be understood in a uniform manner. It must not be interpreted this way today and another way tomorrow to suit the current political moment," he said.
"Global development cannot be unified, but one can and must look for common ground, to see partners, not only rivals in each other, and to establish cooperation between states, their associations and integrated structures," Putin said.
On the Ukrainian crisis in the context of world relations
What has happened in Ukraine is a culmination of negative tendencies, which have emerged on the international stage, and Russia will not give up its independent policy, Vladimir Putin said.
"What has happened in Ukraine is a culmination of negative tendencies in global affairs, which have accumulated for years. We warned about this a long time ago and, unfortunately, our forecasts came true," Putin said when speaking at a meeting of Russian top diplomats in Moscow.
"The world map has more and more regions, where situations run fevers chronically," Putin said. More and more regions "suffer from a security deficit," he said.
The events in Ukraine have confirmed that the West does not accept Russia's independent policy, he said.
Vladimir Putin said that "those, who continue to state their exceptionalism, do not like Russia's independent policy at all. The events in Ukraine have confirmed this, same as they have confirmed that the model full of double standards, does not work with Russia."
The current situation in Ukraine resulted from the policy of containment targeted against Russia, President Vladimir Putin said.
"We must understand clearly that the developments, provoked in Ukraine, are a concentrated manifestation of the notorious policy of containment," Russian President said. This policy is rooted "deeply in history."
"Apparently and regrettably, it continued after the end of the Cold War," Putin said.
"Our compatriots, Russian people, people of various ethnicity, and their language, history, culture and legitimate rights, guaranteed, by the way, by European conventions, are in jeopardy," the Russian president said.
"What reaction were our partners expecting of us against the background of events unfolding in Ukraine?" Putin said.
Speaking about the international situation, Putin said.
"We often see international law not working, the elementary norms of decency disregarded and the principle of all-permissiveness triumphing," he said. "Ukraine is an example of this," Putin said.
On Poroshenko's decision to cancel ceasefire in Ukraine's southeast
Putin regrets that no substantive talks have begun between Kiev and southeastern Ukraine.
"No substantive talks have actually been held following the declaration of the truce. Only a disarmament ultimatum was advanced," Putin noted.
"But the declaration of the truce was not bad on the whole, although it was not sufficient to settle the situation on a long-term basis, acceptable for all people living in the country, including in southeastern Ukraine," the Russian president said.
By deciding to stop the truce Ukrainian President Petr Poroshenko has taken upon himself the responsibility for the resumption of battle actions, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.
"Unfortunately, President Poroshenko has decided to resume battle actions. And we could not - I mean myself and my colleagues from Europe - could not convince him that the road to stable, solid and long-term peace can not go through war," Putin said at a meeting of ambassadors and permanent Russian representatives in Moscow.
"Up until now Poroshenko still did not have direct relations to the orders to start battles. Now he took it upon himself. Not just military but political ones as well, which is much more important," Putin said.
On reporters' deaths in Ukraine
Killing reporters during battles in southeastern Ukraine is absolutely unacceptable, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting of ambassadors and permanent Russian representatives in Moscow.
"Killing reporters is absolutely unacceptable. And I reminded the Ukrainian president of this yesterday," he said.
According to Putin, "conscious work is being held to liquidate mass media representatives, this concerns Russian and foreign journalists."
On the South Stream gas pipeline project
Russia intends to advance the South Stream project further, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.
Russia has always had the reputation of a reliable energy supplier to Europe and invested in developing gas infrastructure, he said.
Russian companies have built North Stream jointly with their European partners and, despite difficulties, Russia will advance with the South Stream project, Putin stated.
More and more European politicians and business people realize that "it is wanted to simply use European strategies in somebody else's interests and that they become hostage of short-sighted and ideology-driven approaches of red tape from Brussels," Putin said.
On gas dispute with Ukraine
Ukraine's position on the gas issue can be described as "utter blackmail," President Vladimir Putin said.
"Kiev has been refusing to repay the debts. This is out of all reason! Our partners are resorting to outright blackmail, demanding an unsubstantiated lower price, although the agreement was signed in 2009 and has been contentiously abided by partners," Putin told ambassadors and permanent envoys on Tuesday.
Conscientious gas consumers and suppliers should not suffer because of the actions by Ukrainian politicians and officials, Russian President Vladimir Putin believes.
"The only reason we have not undertaken any action to date is not to make the situation worse. But everyone should draw appropriate conclusions from this situation. The most important thing is that conscientious gas consumers and suppliers must not suffer because of the actions of Ukrainian politicians and officials," he said.
Putin urged European partners to seriously consider "how to reduce the likelihood of manifestation of all sorts of political and economic risks and force-majeure circumstances on the continent.
Reverse gas supplies to Ukraine are artificial and Russia does not prevent these deals in order to not escalate the situation, Russian President said.
"They receive [gas] under so-called reverse supplies. We know what kind of reverse it is. This is an artificial reverse. No reverse exists. How is it possible to supply in the very same gas pipe in two directions?" Putin said when at a meeting of ambassadors and permanent Russian representatives.
"It is not necessary to be a gas expert to realize that this is an unreal matter," Putin said.
"They have tampered something with some of their partners. Essentially, they receive our gas and pay some of their Western partners there, in Europe, who do not receive this volume," Putin said. "We see everything. We do not take any actions today just not to complicate the situation," Putin said.
On sanctions against Russia
The sanctions introduced against Russia are an instance of blackmail and a manifestation of unilateral policy, President Vladimir Putin said.
"We have been saying all along that sanctions are applied in compliance with Article 7 of the UN Charter. Or they are not sanctions in terms of international law, but something else, a sort of an instrument of unilateral policy," Putin told ambassadors and permanent envoys on Tuesday.
"What else can it be, if not blackmail?" he said while speaking about proposed sanctions against French banks involved in the deal to sell warships of the Mistral class.
On Russian-Chinese relations
The Russian president said that he supported strengthening comprehensive partnership with China and the friendship of the two countries is not directed against anyone.
"It is necessary to enhance comprehensive partnerships and strategic cooperation with China in every way. It can be said that today a solid Russian-Chinese diplomatic bond was formed in the international arena. It is based on matching views and key regional issues," Putin said when at a meeting of ambassadors and Russian permanent representatives at the Russian Foreign Ministry on Tuesday.
"It is of essential importance that the Russian-Chinese friendship is not directed against anyone. On the contrary, it is an example of equal, respectful and productive cooperation of states in the 21st century," Putin said.
On relations with the United States and Russia's role in the world
The fact that the relations between Russia and the United States are not at their best is not Russia's fault, President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with Russian ambassadors and permanent representatives in Moscow on Tuesday.
"We are not going to close our relations with the US. The bilateral relationship is currently not in its best shape, that is true, but - I want to stress that - through it is not the fault of Russia," Putin said.
"We have always strived to be predictable, conduct our affairs on an equal basis, but in return our legitimate interests were often ignored," the president said.
Moscow is ready for constructive dialogue with the United States but it is possible only on an equal basis, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.
"Up until now openly categorical notes were voiced regarding us over and over again," Putin said when at a meeting of ambassadors and permanent Russian representatives.
"Nevertheless, we are ready for constructive dialogue but, I will emphasize again, only on equal basis," Putin said.
Russia is not interested in participating in international formats, where it is given a bystander's role, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.
"As to different international formats - if we are given the role of bystanders, who do not have a final say on key issues, which are of vital interest for us. Then these formats are not interesting for us," Putin emphasized.
"We should not pay with our vital interest just for the fact that we are allowed to sit nearby and not participate. And I hope that this is evident and, eventually, it should become understandable for our partners," Putin said, Interfax reports.
The Voice of Russia