MOSCOW, April 17 (RIA Novosti) — The trust between Russia and the United States has been lost to a great degree, but the fault for this does not lay on Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday during a live Q&A session.
"I agree that the trust has been undermined, to a great degree, but why is this happening? We believe that in this situation we are not at fault," said Putin.
Restoring the trust between Russia and US requires the elimination of all approaches based on double standards, the president said.
Putin said he hopes for the soon resumption of contacts among Russian and US leaders.
“We have some contacts with them, but our colleagues had made the decision to suspend them. I hope that, with the time, everything will fall into place,” Putin said.
Putin believes that US President Barak Obama would have saved him if he was drowning.
“I think, he is a decent and courageous person, and he would have done that,” Putin said.
Putin said that Russia is not attempting to undermine the relations with its European partners and hopes that Europe is sharing this stance.
"We are not trying to undermine the relations between Russia and Europe, and I hope that this is not a part of our European partners' plans," he said.
Tensions between Russia and the West flared after a regime change in February when the Ukrainian parliament ousted President Viktor Yanukovych and scheduled early presidential elections for May 25.
Russia has described the uprising in Kiev as an illegitimate fascist coup and a military seizure of power that resulted in Moscow taking steps to protect ethnic Russians in Ukraine and reunify with Crimea following a referendum in the region last month.
Western countries have refused to recognize Crimea’s reunification with Russia and introduced targeted sanctions against Russian politicians and businessmen, while warning of serious economic consequences for Moscow over its policies toward Ukraine.
Updates with Putin's quote on US ties