Published: Fri, June 08, 2018
Money | By Armando Alvarado

Putin brags that he ‘regularly’ speaks to Trump on the phone

Putin brags that he ‘regularly’ speaks to Trump on the phone

"The understanding that a third world war could be the end of civilization should restrain us from taking extreme steps on the worldwide arena that are highly unsafe for modern civilization", Putin said during his annual televised call-in show where he fields questions from the public.

"I warned them that this situation, which we see today, could develop".

"Overall, we are heading in the right direction", he said.

The Russian president first launched a military intervention in Syria in 2015, turning the tables in the multi-front civil war in favor of ally President Bashar Assad.

Putin last December announced a scale-down of the Russian military presence there.

"How low the Western information and political environment has fallen if a restaurateur from Russian Federation could influence elections in the United States or a European country", Putin said.

Lacking a Russian passport, Barakat said she can not bring into the country her husband and three children, who are still living in Syria and whom she has not seen in two years.

On Thursday, Putin doubled down on this argument.

Trump "pushing Europe into Putin's hands".

Putin's visit also marks the 50th anniversary of the initiation of Russian gas deliveries to the alpine nation.

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Putin said both allegations are "complete nonsense and can only be called a joke".

The Russian leader was responding to a question about special counsel Robert Mueller 's February indictment of 13 Russians and three Russian organizations when he brought up his relationship with the American president.

Amid concerns about Russia's blocking of an encrypted messaging app, Putin pledged to respect internet freedom. "We are on track for durable growth in the economy", he said in opening remarks to two moderators introducing questions from the public. "He is, after all, a little older than me", explained Putin, 65.

And with the World Cup set to begin next week in Russia, Putin said the event's 12 stadiums must be financially self-sustaining after the tournament, following calls from some officials for government subsidies.

He said "all the facilities need to be able to cover their costs". He suggested the stadiums could add cafes and shopping malls to boost their profitability once the competition is over.

"I always use the polite form with him".

He briefly touched on next week's World Cup, saying that stadiums built in 11 Russian cities should not become white elephants but help "develop a new generation of football players".

Putin turned to two of his ministers to lay out the measures they'd taken to stop the rise in prices and threatened to raise levies on oil companies if they didn't stick to a deal reached last week to freeze fuel costs.

On Thursday, he said Russia's gross domestic product is now 1.5 percent higher than a year ago. Yulia Skripal has said since the incident she wants to return to Russian Federation at some point in the future.

Putin also said the government will be looking to streamline the tax system in order to fight poverty, but denied speculation that Russian Federation was considering abandoning its flat-rate income tax.

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