13:50 GMT +330 March 2017
    Russian President Vladimir Putin attends his annual end-of-year news conference in Moscow, Russia

    Putin 'Sends Two Clear Signals' to Washington

    © Sputnik/ Vladimir Astapkovich
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    Putin's 2016 Annual Year-End Press Conference (72)

    Russian President Vladimir Putin sent two "unmistakable signals" to US leadership and the American people, saying that Moscow does not view Washington as an aggressor and urging both countries to build cordial relations, journalist Vladimir Ardaev wrote for RIA Novosti.

    Signal #1: Russia doesn't view US as an aggressor

    "The president has clearly indicated that Russian leadership does not consider the United States to be a potential aggressor capable of attacking Russia," Ardaev said.

    Speaking at a marathon press conference on Friday, Vladimir Putin provided a detailed explanation of his earlier comments that Russia was stronger than any aggressor. Contrary to what some in the US administration seemed to have assumed, the Russian president was not speaking about Washington.

    This is what he meant.

    "An aggressor is someone who can attack Russia. We are stronger than any potential aggressor. I have no problem repeating this," Putin explained, adding that he was surprised by remarks of some US officials, who claimed that the United States has the most powerful military in the world. "Nobody is arguing with that," the president said.

    Putin further detailed what makes Russia strong, saying that the country's capabilities have significantly improved due to ongoing efforts to upgrade the armed forces, as well as history, geography and the current state of the Russian society.

    "If I understood correctly, Russia's strength cannot be reduced to its modern weaponry; it also rests on the spiritual power of its people," political analyst Nguyen Dat Phat told Sputnik. "Any aggressive adversary will inevitably feel this power."

    President Vladimir Putin during his twelfth annual news conference at Moscow's World Trade Center in Krasnaya Presnya
    © Sputnik/ Alexei Druzhinin
    President Vladimir Putin during his twelfth annual news conference at Moscow's World Trade Center in Krasnaya Presnya

    Signal #2: Russia and the US should be friends

    Vladimir Putin also asserted that Moscow and Washington should foster closer relations since many Americans appear to share views similar to those expressed by Russia.

    "I do not view the support for the Russian president among a large part of Republican voters as support for me personally, but rather see it as an indication that a substantial part of the American people share similar views with us on what the global order should be, what we ought to do and  common challenges we are facing," he said. "It is good that there are people who share our views on traditional values since this created a solid basis for building relations between our powerful countries. This is the basis of our peoples' mutual sympathy."

    Putin also said that the Obama administration has divided the nation instead of uniting it and added that Donald Trump easily discerned the public mood which was instrumental to his victory at the recent presidential election. 

    "It seems to me that there is a gap between the elite's vision of what is good and bad and that of the American people," Putin said, referring to the outgoing administration and the Democratic Party. "They are trying to blame all their failures on outside factors."

    Political analyst Pavel Svyatenkov told Sputnik that Vladimir Putin was mildly critical of the Democratic Party considering that its high-profile members had "claimed that the Russian leader was behind all opponents of Hillary Clinton" during the election campaign and that he was responsible for cyber-attacks on the Democratic National Committee.

    "Russia was rather reserved in its response to serious accusations made by Clinton herself. The Russian president mildly reproached Democratic leadership for their active anti-Russian propaganda which lasted for months," the analyst said.

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


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    • Michael Calvin
      Until Trump proves otherwise,Russia should be mistaken for not viewing US as a major threat
    • avatar
      Mr Putin knows perfectly that American power is over, and he still humble telling them ok,ok, whatever you say it is ok. That is a man of power, he shows them on the moment who he is, and not barking like a dog.
    • American Socialist
      “Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak.”
    • avatar
      Putin knows full well US military numbers are generally much larger, his comment was a reflection of the modernisation and readiness of that colossal force in comparison to Russian forces.

      Let me say that in a specific context US has 19 carriers only 5 are operational but Russia has developed highly advanced supersonic anti carrier missiles that balances that sector out.

      It is obvious Russia has sought to balance each sector in 1 or 2 different ways thus rendering the US at a disadvantage.
      That of course is based on both nations being next door to each other? Russia would never attack the US so that only leaves one scenario of the US attacking Russia.

      Which comes back to Putin's comment which is perfectly correct.
      In essence it would be suicidal for the US to attack thus Putin knows they will only plan and support an attack not take part in one.
      Which comes back to his comment which is most clever in its multiple meaning which is typically old Russian form in use of language. (riddle)
    • avatar
      Posting on the subject article leads one to Obama's proxy forces use with support from NATO nations in addition to a number of middle eastern nations.
      A clever or not so clever trial to perfect techniques and strategies to do the same to Russia, in much the same way.
    • avatar
      When have you EVER seen an American president answer a roundtable of questions that weren't scripted and following their propagandist rhetoric? NEVER!
    • avatar
      The USA has been following much the same foreign policy for the last fifty or sixty years. It is centred on animosity towards Russia. Nothing has changed. Trump's rhetoric was more against the Democrats' position than a fundamentally different approach. Time will tell, but Mr Trump's background doesn't bode well. further, there is a genuine desire in Russia for friendship with the USA. This is like making friends with a nest of rattlesnakes. Will Russia heed the warning? That is the big question.
    • avatar
      The US will pounce on Russia and Putin in half a second, if it smells weakness.The US establishment despises Putin. They will deal diplomatically with him, if they have to. But make no mistake: they dream about giving him the Saddam Hussein treatment. Putin needs to praise US less and warn them more.
    • avatar
      edover3in reply toivanwa88(Show commentHide comment)
      ivanwa88, Poland is such a proxy nation. US is planning to use it to start a small, regional war with Russia. That war will be used to pull Russia away from China, and seek an accommodation of US interests. And as always, Poland will get nothing but death and destruction out of the whole thing, just as it always had when manipulated into doing west's dirty work.
    • avatar
      Darrell R
      Trump has his own approach to things. He is an outsider viewing the world without the clouded view of Washington interest. Obama's disrespectful approach to Russia has been a disaster. Only time will tell but with this new administration there is al least hope for change in the way the US deals with the rest of the world.

      With every debate Trump expressed views that were more in line with Russia. He was often criticized harshly over this but he took down his opponents one after another. People in the US have been exposed to heavy criticism of Russia by the MSM and it has had an effect on what many people think of Russia, but not all of them are buying all of it, and the blame Russia for everything wrong in the Clinton campaign was too much for most people to buy. Most people want to see relations to normalize between these nations. Trump standing up and promoting this did help him win the election.

      Now we have a Secretary of State that is considered a friend to Russia and is opposed to the sanctions. Hope is there.
    • choticastile
      Putin is 100% spot on as usual-- However its not only his diplomatic genius-- but the interpretation of his words, summed up perfectly by an analyst above, when he said:-

      "If I understood correctly, Russia's strength cannot be reduced to its modern weaponry; it also rests on the spiritual power of its people," political analyst Nguyen Dat Phat told Sputnik. "Any aggressive adversary will inevitably feel this power."

      Exactly .... There is no way in the world that anything can ever overcome spiritual power!
    • avatar
      The trick is how to manage a nuclear heavy weight with colossal military power while they are in deep decline but still able to reduce the world to ashes. This is the problem Russia faces with the United States empire. What good would be produced by antagonizing and goading this declining and desperate state into a military face off? The consequences would be a disaster for the world.
      The United States has been laying one trap after another for Russia trying to illicit a military confrontation and Putin will have no part of it. Putin has maneuvered around those traps so far with great success in managing this desperate and dangerous nations decline without causing WWIII. This is the challenge Russia and the world faces from the United States.
    • avatar
      hopscotch64in reply toAmerican Socialist(Show commentHide comment)
      American Socialist, To appear weak invites aggression as we have seen play out with the US/NATO alliance marching to the Russian borders. This is why Putin's statements seem contrary.
    • avatar
      elsa.zardiniin reply tochoticastile(Show commentHide comment)
      choticastile, Exactly. Russians make Russia strong and had always done so through the centuries. We in the West have no idea of what Russians are and very few care to find out.
    • choticastilein reply toelsa.zardini(Show commentHide comment)
      They're gonna find out-- as many of them of their own accord took the leap to find out and they like what they found and are finding! Elsa-- my contention is that people are sick and tired to the death of being conned and cheated by their leaders and while Europeans were slower to wake up and catch on, their fury is building and I think during this new year, we're going to see plenty of changes-- an unstoppable flood, in fact. Americans are generally suspicious of what they regard as 'conspiracy theories' against their leaders and MIC -- but they're waking up and big time too-- much more to follow. Trump too, won't be let off lightly-- he better practice and get to know his steps-- because he'll be dancing more than "The Dance of the Hours"-- more likely for him it will be the "Dance of the Century!"
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