Russian President Vladimir Putin © Mikhail Klimentyev/Russian presidential press service/TASS
MOSCOW, April 16. /TASS/. Russia does not regard any country as its enemy, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday during the annual question and answer session officially known as Direct Line with Vladimir Putin.
"Being our foes or friends is equally honorable. Speaking more seriously, I have already named the enemies - these are terrorists, organized crime and so on. We regard no one as enemies. I mean the participants of an international dialogue," Putin said.
"And I do not advise anyone to consider us as their enemy," Putin said.
According to the Russian leader, Russia will never assume the role of a ‘vassal’ and in order to restore relations with the West Moscow wants approach based on respect.
"As for the conditions, which we [Russia] could use for the normalization of our relations with the West - it was not us who spoiled them and we always spoke for normal relations with all countries both in the East and the West," Putin said at his annual question and answer session.
"The most important in the restoration of normal relations is the respect of Russia and the respect of our interests," he said.
Russia not to get offended by, angry at West or isolate itself
Putin noted that Russia will not get offended by or get angry at the West, or isolate itself, it is ready for cooperation with the West despite the positions of some countries.
Putin said in the 1990s Russia opened up and expected a similar attitude toward itself. He said the West initially praised Boris Yeltsin but then "set the dogs on him" when he announced Russia’s position on Yugoslavia.
"When we spoke about ourselves and our interests, we faced a rather tough reaction at once," he said. "But it does not mean we should get offended, get angry at someone or isolate ourselves."