Putin Accuses West of Trying to Restrain Russia's Emerging Power

  • Russia is fighting for its legitimate interests, Putin says
  • President says ‘anti-Russian campaign’ is counterproductive

How Putin Became the Symbol of Russian Power

Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the West of seeking to monopolize power and prevent the emergence of a multi-polar world by countering his country’s efforts to assert itself on the global stage.

“The multi-polar world is becoming more of a reality and the monopolists don’t like that,” Putin said Thursday at a meeting with foreign media executives at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. “This is happening in no small part because of Russia’s fight for its interests, its legitimate interests, I want to stress that.”

The Russian leader warned that what he sees as an “anti-Russian campaign” and “Russophobia” is counterproductive. “I hope that it won’t go on for too long, that it won’t last forever, because the realization must come that it is counterproductive and harms everyone,” he said.

Russia is at the center of a political storm in the U.S. over accusations that the Kremlin interfered in last year’s presidential election, as investigators probe whether there was collusion between advisors to President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russian officials. Ties with the U.S. and the European Union tumbled to their lowest point since the Cold War after they imposed sanctions on Russia over its 2014 annexation of Crimea and support for separatists in eastern Ukraine.

— With assistance by Ilya Arkhipov, and Stepan Kravchenko

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