Russia is ready to look for compromises with Europe, but not at the expense of its fundamental national interests, President Vladimir Putin said after talks with Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen on Wednesday.
“We are ready to behave flexibly, we are ready for compromises, we are ready to search for solutions in any difficult issues and problems, but not at the expense of our fundamental national interests. That’s it,” Putin said, adding that otherwise Moscow is “rather flexible in the settlement of any issues, including with European partners”.
Russia’s trade with Austria and the European Union is growing despite sanctions, Putin noted. “The tendency is good,” he added. Industrial cooperation continues developing with countries of the European Union, including Germany, France and Italy, the Russian leader stressed.
“We are happy with the way our relations develop, but of course it would be better to have no restrictions linked with politics. To have no politically motivated restrictions in the economy,” he stressed, saying that this is doing damage to all. “May be less damage to us, by the way,” he added.
According to Putin, EU countries have lost tens of billions of euros from sanctions slapped on Russia. “Behind these tens of billions are jobs, profits and salaries for workers who work at European enterprises and could be supplying goods to our markets. Supplying them in bigger amounts than now. I hope we will one day revive the entirety of our relations the way they used to be originally and will move further,” Putin stressed.