Friday, Sept 12, 2008
Prime Minister Vladimir Putin warned the West on Thursday against starting an arms race in Europe by stationing a U.S. missile defence shield near Russia’s borders and said there was no basis for a new Cold War.
Putin, who has taken a robust stance on Russia’s conflict with Georgia over the South Ossetia region, blamed Washington rather than Moscow for resurrecting Soviet-style rhetoric.
“Today there are no ideological contradictions. There is no basis for a Cold War,” Putin told a group of reporters at a three-hour lunch briefing at his retreat in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.
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“There is no basis for mutual animosity … Russia has no imperialist ambitions,” he said.
Russia was criticised by the United States and European governments for sending troops into Georgia last month and then recognising the two breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states.