20:33 GMT28 October 2020
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    Putin's 2016 Annual Year-End Press Conference (72)
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    The Russian president said that Moscow was interested in developing relations with Europe, but it needed a partner able to engage in a dialogue.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Moscow is interested in developing relations with Europe, but it needs a united partner with whom it is possible to engage in a dialogue, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday at an annual press conference.

    "We are interested in the development of relations with Europe, we will strive for this and, of course, would like Europe to speak with one voice, to have a partner with whom it is possible to talk. That's what is important to us. But if this is not the case, we will look for opportunities to speak at the international level," Putin said.

    However, Russia will develop relations with separate European countries if it is impossible to deal with the European Union as a whole, Putin added.

    "Of course, it would have been desirable to have a partner to talk with, that's what is important to us. If it is not the case, then we will look for opportunities to speak at the inter-state level, with each of the partner countries in Europe. Although, today this is business as usual. Some of the issues we address with the European Commission, some of the issues are being addressed at the national level with the European countries. In principle, we are satisfied with it," Putin said.

    He added that "internal Europe [state] construction is not of our concern."

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    Putin's 2016 Annual Year-End Press Conference (72)

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    European Union, relations, Vladimir Putin, Russia
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