Russia not aiming to divide EU, says Vladimir Putin
"We have an interest in an EU that's united and prosperous, since the EU is our most important commercial and economic partner," Putin said
Vladimir Putin. Pic/AFP
President Vladimir Putin on Monday downplayed suggestions Russia was seeking to disrupt the European Union's cohesion, saying it was in his country's interests for the bloc to remain "united and prosperous".
"We have an interest in an EU that's united and prosperous, since the EU is our most important commercial and economic partner," Putin said. "We don't have a goal of dividing anything or anyone in the EU," he said.
Putin also played down reported links between his United Russia party and Austria's far-right Freedom Party, which is now part of the governing coalition in Vienna.
Austria was one of the few EU nations not to expel Russian diplomats following the poisoning of ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Britain.
'Nowhere to hide from Russia'
Kiev: Ukrainian journalist Matvei Ganapolsky sees no point in hiding abroad from Russians who might be trying to kill him, because if they want to find him, geography won't stop them. Ganapolsky is on a list of 47 people who Ukraine says Russia has targeted for assassination. Ukrainian authorities say they obtained the list after faking the murder of exiled Russian dissident Arkady Babchenko, a prominent critic of President Vladimir Putin, in a ruse staged to flush out a genuine plot against him.
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