Russian President Vladimir Putin has called on the US not to interfere in Russia’s affairs, saying Moscow is open to cooperation with Washington on issues of mutual interest.
“We are ready for practical cooperation with American partners along various directions guided by the principles of respect for each other’s interests, equal rights and non-interference into domestic affairs,” Putin said as he received credentials of new US Ambassador to Moscow, John Tefft, in the Kremlin on Wednesday.
The remarks come a day after Putin said the United States wants to subjugate Russia, adding that no one has ever succeeded in doing so – and never will.
“They want to subdue us, want to solve their problems at our expense. No one in history ever managed to do this to Russia, and no one ever will,” the Russian leader said at a forum of the All-Russia Peoples’ Front in Moscow on Tuesday.
Tensions between Russia and the West heightened after Ukraine’s Black Sea peninsula of Crimea joined the Russian Federation following a referendum in March.
Relations were strained further after Ukraine launched military operations in mid-April to silence pro-Russia protests in the country’s mainly Russian-speaking regions in eastern Ukraine.
According to the latest figures by the United Nations, more than 4,000 people have been killed and over 9,300 others injured in the fighting. In addition, hundreds of thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes.
The US and the European Union accuse Russia of destabilizing Ukraine and have imposed a series of sanctions against Russian and pro-Moscow figures in the volatile eastern Ukraine regions. Moscow, however, rejects the accusation.