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Russian President Vladimir Putin attends the Dialogue of Emerging Market and Developing Countries  on the sideline of the BRICS Summit in Xiamen, China on Sept. 5
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends the Dialogue of Emerging Market and Developing Countries  on the sideline of the BRICS Summit in Xiamen, China on Sept. 5

Putin Warns of Global Catastrophe

“It’s ridiculous to put us on the same (sanctions) list as North Korea and then ask for our help in imposing sanctions on North Korea,” said Putin

Putin Warns of Global Catastrophe

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that imposing tougher sanctions on North Korea over its nuclear missile program would be counter-productive and said threats of military action could trigger “a global catastrophe”.
Speaking after a BRICS summit in China, Putin criticized US diplomacy in the crisis and renewed his call for talks, saying Pyongyang would not halt its missile testing program until it felt secure, Reuters reported.
“Russia condemns North Korea’s exercises, we consider that they are a provocation ... (But) ramping up military hysteria will lead to nothing good. It could lead to a global catastrophe,” he told reporters.
“There’s no other path apart from a peaceful one.”
Putin was speaking after South Korea said an agreement with the United States to scrap a weight limit on its warheads would help it respond to the North Korea threat after Pyongyang conducted its sixth and largest nuclear test two days ago.
Russia, which shares a border with North Korea, has repeatedly joined China in calling for negotiations with Pyongyang, suggesting that the United States and South Korea halt all major war games in exchange for North Korea halting its testing program.
***US Approach “Ridiculous”
While describing additional sanctions as “the road to nowhere”, Putin said Russia was prepared to discuss “some details” around the issue, without elaborating.
The Russian leader also lashed out at the United States, saying it was preposterous for Washington to ask for Moscow’s help with North Korea after sanctioning Russian companies whom US officials accused of violating North Korea sanctions.
“It’s ridiculous to put us on the same (sanctions) list as North Korea and then ask for our help in imposing sanctions on North Korea,” said Putin.
“This is being done by people who mix up Australia with Austria,” he added.
The United States has floated the idea of requiring all countries to cut economic links with North Korea to try to strong-arm Pyongyang into changing its behavior.
In Moscow’s case, that would mean stopping using North Korean laborers, tens of thousands of whom work in Russia, and halting fuel supplies to Pyongyang. Russia has so far refused to contemplate doing either.
***Diplomatic Mission Row
Putin said Russia reserves the right to further cut the number of US diplomatic staff in Moscow, in response to what he called Washington’s “boorish” treatment of Russia’s diplomatic mission on US soil.
Speaking after US officials ordered Russia to vacate diplomatic premises in several US cities, Putin said he would order his foreign ministry to take the US authorities to court over alleged violations of Russia’s property rights.
“That the Americans reduced the number of our diplomatic facilities —this is their right,” Putin said, adding that “The only thing is that it was done in such a clearly boorish manner. That does not reflect well on our American partners.”
“As for our buildings and facilities, this is an unprecedented thing,” Putin said. “This is a clear violation of Russia’s property rights. Therefore, for a start, I will order the foreign ministry to go to court —and let’s see just how efficient the much-praised US judiciary is.”
The United States has ordered the closure of the Russian consulate in San Francisco and two buildings housing trade missions in Washington and New York.
 “We reserve the right to take a decision on the number of US diplomats in Moscow. But we won’t do that for now. Let’s wait and see how the situation develops further,” he told the news conference.
*** Deir al-Zor Means Terrorism Defeat
Putin said that the situation in Syria is developing with the Syrian Army’s achieving victories in its war against terrorism, pointing out that terrorism is a complicated global matter and the main problem is that some sides continue to provide aid to the extremist terrorist organizations, SANA reported.
The Russian president said that the situation in Syria has been radically changing in favor of the Syrian Army with more areas being liberated from terrorism.
“Indeed, the situation is developing in favor of the government troops,” he said.
“You know that the territory controlled by the government forces has swelled a lot in the past two years, and the process still continues,” Putin added.
The Russian president hoped that the military operation against the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group would succeed in Raqqa, clarifying that the Syrian Army's success in Deir al-Zor would mean that terrorism has lost and that would lead to very important steps on the course of the peaceful political process and it would also allow the Syrian government to rebuild the economic and social fields.
He pointed out that the meetings of BRICS and G20 Summits focused on counterterrorism and setting tactics and strategies for this purpose in Syria, stressing that BRICS countries expressed readiness to support Syria in the post-settlement stage.

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