On Thursday, speaking at the traditional Valdai Forum in Sochi, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that US President Donald Trump is ready to listen to him and is determined to improve the relations between the two countries.
“In my opinion, the current president [of the US] is determined to stabilize and level the relations between Russia and the US,” Putin said and added that “we will see how the situation will further develop”.
Putin denied the accusations of Western countries concerning Moscow’s interference in their affairs. At the same time, answering a question about the annexation of the Crimea, Putin said that “Crimea is ours”.
The Russian president also noted that his country, despite possessing a modern nuclear missile shield, is not going to use nuclear weapons first but is determined to respond with a nuclear attack, as provided by the Russian Military Doctrine.
At the same time, the Russian president said, “An aggressor must know that retaliation is unavoidable. We, the victims of aggression, we will go to heaven like martyrs. But they will just die, because they won’t even have time to repent”. Putin noted that he is not a nationalist and does not want to put the world “on the brink of crisis”.
Speaking about the tragedy in the Kerch college, Putin linked this incident with the tragic experience of gunfights at American schools, after which “young people with unstable psyche” began to create “false heroes” for themselves.