Putin says 'impossible' to isolate Russia, rejects 'new Cold War'
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Saturday that it was "impossible" to isolate Russia from the global economy despite pressure from the West over the crisis in Ukraine.
He also rejected talk of a "new Cold War" between Moscow and the West and denied claims Russia was trying to revive the Soviet empire.
Speaking to foreign news agency journalists in Saint Petersburg, Putin called sanctions against Russia "counterproductive" and insisted the country would not be excluded from the international economy.
"I think isolating such a country (as Russia)... is impossible," he said, adding that wide-ranging sanctions "would be negative for everyone and would bring such turbulence to the European, Russian and global economies that it is clear that nobody is interested in this."
Putin dismissed talk of a new Cold War after Russia's relations with the West plunged to new lows.
"I don't want to think that this is the start of a new Cold War, that is in no one's interests, and I don't think this will happen," Putin said.
And he said claims Moscow was seeking to restore the Soviet Union were part of an "information war" against Russia.
"They are trying to hang this label on us -- that we intend to restore the empire, the Soviet Union, to bring everyone under our influence. This is absolutely untrue," Putin said.
© 2014 AFP