ST. PETERSBURG (Sputnik) — SPIEF kicked off in St. Petersburg on Thursday and will continue through Saturday. The Sputnik news agency is an official media partner of SPIEF.
"There are not so many countries in the world that have sovereignty. And Russia treasures the fact that we do have it," Putin said.
He added that German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s remarks that Europe is no longer able to rely on others and needs to take its fate into its own hands were dictated by the "long accumulated resentment of the sovereignty actually being limited."
"And, by the way, within the military and political unions, it is limited officially. There [within such unions] it is clearly defined what you can and can’t do – and in practice, it is even harsher," Putin added.