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Sunday, November 20, 2016

Vladimir Putin at APEC

With the Sultan of Brunei-Darussalam Hassanal Bolkiah.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said he hopes both the EU and the UK use common sense in the Brexit process so that it doesn’t have negative consequences. Putin also explained his position on US President-elect Donald Trump and the TTIP deal.

Putin held a brief Q&A with the media in Lima on Sunday as the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) summit was coming to its end. The president was asked a wide range of questions, on subjects as varied as Brexit and the oil production cap to Russia’s relations with US and Japan.

Brexit

“With regard to Brexit, a lot will depend on the form of the UK exit, its speed,” Putin said. “There are, of course, certain threats, but I think that all our colleagues will have enough common sense. There are very good specialists in the EU and the UK.”

“I’m sure that the situation will develop in a sober way,” he added.

Trump & Obama

Speaking on Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election, Putin said Moscow would have to wait and see as rhetoric during presidential campaign could differ from actual White House policies. He noted that Trump has confirmed his willingness to improve US-Russian relations.

“The President-elect confirmed he is willing to normalize Russian-American relations. I told him the same.”

Putin said no concrete date for a meeting between the leaders has been chosen yet, adding that Washington and Moscow have agreed to arrange a meeting of representatives.

Commenting on his brief meeting with the outgoing US president, Barack Obama, Putin said they drew some conclusions on seven years of working together on global issues.

“We acknowledged that despite the fact that our dialogue was not easy – if truth be told, it was difficult to work with each other – but both President Obama and I noted that we have always respected the positions of one another, as well as each other [personally],” Putin said.

“I thanked him for all the years of mutual work and said, that if he finds it possible or has the desire to do so, we will be glad to welcome him in Russia any time,” Putin said.

TTIP

Weighing in on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), a proposed free trade deal between the US and the European Union, Putin argued that it would be detrimental to economic development.

“Creating closed trade [blocs] will not benefit the global economy,” Putin said, stressing that “regional unions must follow universal rules.”

“My view has not changed. Moreover, I said that Russia believes that one of the factors contributing to the restoration of global economic growth is the development of global trade. And global trade cannot effectively evolve without the free movement of goods, capital and labor,” he added.

OPEC & oil output


Asked about Russia’s stance on limiting oil output, Putin reiterated that Moscow will support a decision to cap oil production.

“As far as the upcoming OPEC meeting is concerned and our position, it remains unchanged and we have said it many times already: We are ready to freeze oil production at the level, at which it is now,” Putin said.

“I cannot say with 100 percent certainty if the agreement [to freeze oil production] will be reached, but there is a huge possibility,” Putin said, stressing that Russia “will, for its part, do everything what our OPEC partners expect from us to do.”

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At midday on Friday 5 February, 2016 Julian Assange, John Jones QC, Melinda Taylor, Jennifer Robinson and Baltasar Garzon will be speaking at a press conference at the Frontline Club on the decision made by the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention on the Assange case.

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