Executive Intelligence Review

FROM EIR DAILY ALERT


Putin Delivers Several Messages at Meeting with Presidential Election Opponents

March 20, 2018 (EIRNS)—Russian President Vladimir Putin met yesterday with the seven other presidential candidates in Sunday’s election, to discuss how to take the positive elements of the campaign so as “to join efforts in the future for constructive work for the benefit of the country.”

As he has repeatedly since the election, Putin reiterated that the main emphasis of the executive branch is now on resolving domestic problems, starting with ensuring adequate economic growth rates, closing the income gap between rich and poor, ensuring no Russian works for “contemptible pay,” reducing poverty, and “making innovation part of the character of our economy.”

It was in this discussion, that Putin made his statement that Russia in no way wants an arms race which President Trump quickly responded to, in his congratulatory call today. Putin told the meeting, that while national defense will, of course, be bolstered,

“let me tell you outright that no one is going to start some arms race. On the contrary, we are going to pursue constructive relations with all countries of the world. We will aim for constructive dialogue, without question, and encourage this among our partners.

“Of course, not everything depends on us. There must be interest on both sides, like in love, or there will be no love,”

he elaborated.

“However, we, on our side, will do everything possible to resolve all disputes with our partners through political and diplomatic means. In addition to this, of course, our position has always been and will always be that we will fight to uphold our national interests. Our operating assumption is that we will do all this work with our partners on a mutually acceptable basis, showing respect for each other and for our national interests.”

Putin made clear, also, that the success of the previous years’ investment in developing the “cutting-edge weapon systems” which he revealed in his March 1st speech, systems required to force the West “to now listen to us,” as he said in the speech, has now freed up resources that can be focused on national economic advancement. The government can reduce military spending both this year and next, and still ensure completion of those weapon systems, he reported. He added, in typical Putin style, the intriguing statement that Russia can “continue with current designs, which I have not yet spoken about” while cutting military spending.

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