Putin fires back at USA: Anti-Russia rhetoric was a ‘BIG MISTAKE’ – WARNING SHOT

The 64-year-old Russian leader made the comments in an astonishing discussion with US filmmaker Oliver Stone for The Putin Interviews.

Mr Putin said: “Unfortunately, the United States developed a fashion to speculate and, I’d say, abuse the Russian issue during election campaigns. 

“Then they tell us, ‘Don’t you pay attention to this! You need to understand that this is just election rhetoric, we will come to agreement with you later.’ But sacrificing international relations in the course of current political processes is, I believe, a big mistake.”

The four-part documentary series aired on Showtime on Monday night.

Mr Putin added Moscow can no longer accept statements coming out of the Pentagon saying Russia was the main threat to the United States.

He said: “On the contrary, we were always ready for the dialogue pretty much on any track of cooperation.”

The Russian leader also said instead of the US spending large amounts on defence it should focus on building a stronger relationship with Russia.

Putin stated: “In 2016, under various estimations, [the US spent] more than $ 600 billion [on defence]. This, of course, is beyond limits. This is more than all the countries of the world spend for this purpose put together.

“The main thing that Russia has, is its people with its self-consciousness. 

“This people cannot exist outside its sovereignty, its statehood, and this understanding, and not the threat of a retaliatory nuclear strike, should set all our Western partners on building long-term equitable relations with Russia. 

“And then one will not need to spend such money on defence.”

The Hollywood director, Mr Stone, famed for the 1986 film Platoon, defended Mr Putin during an interview on Stephen Colbert’s Late Show.

Mr Stone said: “He is a head of state. He has his own interests of Russia. I respect him for that, and I understand why he’s doing that. He’s a strong nationalist.”

He added: “I think he’s devoted to his country. 

“And I’m amazed at his calmness, as I said, his courtesy. He never really said anything bad about anybody. And he’s really been through a lot, and he’s been insulted and abused.”

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