Vladimir Putin is meeting with heads of international news agencies in St. Petersburg within the frameworks of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) 2017.
Putin said that Russia's boosting of military potential in the country's Far East and the Kuril Islands is not Russia's initiative, but a reaction on expansion at the country's borders. He said that Russia is thinking how to curtail threats to security near its borders, including the Kurils.
He said that Russia is forced to react on the US missile defense system expansion, including the deployment of its components, THAAD, in South Korea.
Putin said that Washington will find another excuse to expand its missile system, even if North Korea halts its nuclear program.
The US missile defense system's build-up pushes toward arms race.
There would be a posibility of US troops' presence on Kurils if they were controlled by Japan, he said.
Russia is not involved in hacker attacks on a state level, Putin said when asked about possible Russian interference in upcoming German elections.
He said that hackers can be citizens of any country of the world, but it doesn't necessarily mean they work for these states.
He noted that he doesn't believe cyberattacks could fundamentally change the outcome of any elections in Europe and elsewhere.
The Russian president was asked about Russia-Germany ties under Merkel's chancellorship and how the relations may develop under her political rival Martin Schulz.
Putin said that he and German Chancellor Angela Merkel disagree on some issues, however, simultaneously, have areas of common interests, including economy and international politics.
Putin added that he has no doubts Moscow and Berlin will continue cooperation after the elections in Germany, emphasizing that Russia will work with any candidate the Germans chose.
Moscow is ready to work with any chancellor ready for a constuctive dialogue, Putin said.
Putin has explained what is behind the recent rise of Russophobia. He said that certain states try to deter Russia who acts according to its "legitimate interests."
Putin emphasized that attempts to deter Russia don't work, have zero effect.
The development of multipolar world, which doesn't make "monopolists" happy, is also the reason of overall Russophia, Putin said.
He said that the situation, however, improves, adding that the Russophobic attitude is counterproductive and harms everyone.
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