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In Call-In Show, Putin Says Russia Will Not Be U.S. Vassal

A Eurasianet partner post from <a href="http://www.rferl.org/content/putin-to-hold-televised-qa-session/2695844…;

President Vladimir Putin has said that Western sanctions are aimed at restraining Russia and demanded respect on the world stage, adding that Moscow is not trying to "resurrect the empire" but will never be a "vassal" of the United States.

In an annual question-and-answer session that lasted nearly four hours and was shown live on state television, Putin told Russians their country faced challenges from abroad but can repel any threat if domestic political stability is preserved.

Speaking after a year in which Western governments say he has dangerously upended the post-Cold War balance by annexing Crimea and supporting armed separatists in eastern Ukraine, Putin mixed defiant warnings with assurances that Russia "has no imperial ambitions."

At the same time, he said Moscow would act to support Russians in the former Soviet republics -- words that will do little to reduce alarm in the Baltics and other neighboring states about Russia's intentions.

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Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

A Eurasianet partner post from <a href="http://www.rferl.org/content/putin-to-hold-televised-qa-session/2695844…;

In Call-In Show, Putin Says Russia Will Not Be U.S. Vassal

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