Russia: Putin talks development, sanctions and N. Korea

Russian President Vladimir Putin hailed the growing economic and trade cooperation between China and Russia, saying that it shows «a very good tempo which we should keep and build up,» as he spoke in an interview with head of the China Media Group Shen Haixiong in Moscow on Wednesday. «Today, China has already become our main trade partner among the other countries. Last year, the total volume... Еще of our trade increased and reached 87 billion dollars; this year — for the first four month the growth was the same as for the whole last year,» Putin said. The Russian President also commented on Western sanctions against Russia, noting that they «will never force us to abandon an independent, sovereign path of development.» «I believe that Russia will either be sovereign, or it will not exist at all. And of course, the Russian people will always choose the first option,» he said, adding: «But we understand that our partners have only one goal by using these restrictions and sanctions, namely to contain the development.» In his interview, Putin also commented on the situation on the Korean Peninsula as well as on the expected meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. The Russian leader called Washington's decision to establish the direct contact with Pyongyang «very courageous and mature» and expressed the hope that the meeting between the leaders of the two states will bring the denuclearisation of North Korea closer. MANDATORY COURTESY: China Media Group

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