Putin’s APEC Summit Press Conference
In public remarks and answering questions, Putin says what he means and means what he says – polar opposite duplicitous Western politicians, especially US ones.
After the summit’s completion, Putin answered questions from journalists, mostly Russian ones attending his Q & A.
Issues besides economic, financial and trade were discussed – notably combating terrorism and global energy markets.
No formal meeting with Trump was held, just several brief discussions, Putin explaining:
“We talked about the matters discussed at the APEC summit…about how new opportunities opened up by the digital economy can be utilized in developing economic relations. (W)e also agreed on a joint statement on fighting terrorism in Syria.”
It was drafted ahead of the summit, a final revision after it began.
Everything connected to Russiagate in America is “a manifestation of the ongoing internal political strife,” Putin explained.
“(I)t is only yesterday that I found out from Mr. Peskov about (alleged) connections between my relatives and US administration officials. I do not know anything about that – absolutely nothing. I think this is just nonsense,” he stressed.
“As for Mr Manafort, they somehow also try to tie him to Russia. The only connection is that as head and, probably, owner of an American PR agency, he signed contracts, as a businessman working in this field. He also worked in Ukraine, including with former President Yanukovych,” said Putin, adding:
“…I do not understand how this is related to Russia in any way. Nothing, there is absolutely nothing here, just empty talk and a will to grasp at any hunch to and use it against the current US President. But let me repeat, this has nothing to do with us. Let them deal with it on their own.”
Putin stressed the importance of growing Sino/Russia ties, largely political, financial and economic. China is Russia’s largest trade partner – exceeding $60 billion annually, heading toward “$100 billion in the coming years,” Putin believes.
He discussed the important of resolving issues with North Korea diplomatically, saying “first…stop the rhetoric, then…stop any signs of aggression from all the parties, and ultimately…sit down at the negotiating table.”
It’s doable by all parties except Washington, shamefully calling dialogue a waste of time. It’s the only acceptable option. Whatever it takes must be done to avoid catastrophic war, no easy task.
Putin and Trump don’t know each other well. Russia’s president said he was “absolutely polite and friendly, and we have a normal dialogue” when interacting.
Encounters have been brief, too little time to discuss important bilateral issues. Normal relations are “practically suspended,” Putin explained.
He had detailed discussions with Japan’s prime minister and presidents of China, Vietnam and the Philippines.
On Syria, he said “military efforts to liquidate the terrorist hotbed in (the country) are nearing completion.”
Given Washington’s rage for war and thousands of terrorist fighters still active, his optimism may not be warranted.
He blasted hostile US actions against RT and Sputnik News, saying “(t)he attack on the Russian media in the United States is an attack on the freedom of speech. There is no doubt about it.”
“(W)e have to give some sort of a response, and it will be mirror response…(T)here is no, and cannot be, any evidence of our media’s meddling in the election campaign.”
There was none, clear to viewers and listeners following their US election coverage.
“The media provide information, interpret it and offer their opinion,” said Putin. “One can argue with them but not by shutting them down, but rather by offering one’s own opinion, relating one’s own information to the audience.”
“Nevertheless, they opted for actually shutting them down, or creating conditions to make it impossible to carry out their professional activities. The response will be reciprocal.”
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."