Putin says US threats smack of Soviet Union's fatal mistakes

Putin made comments during press briefing late as he spoke about US sanctions against Moscow

Reuters June 05, 2021
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) in Saint Petersburg, Russia, June 4, 2021. PHOTO: REUTERS


Russian President Vladimir Putin said the United States was wrong to think that it is "powerful enough" to get away with threatening other countries, a mistake, he said, that led to the downfall of the former Soviet Union.

Putin made the comments during a press briefing late on Friday as he spoke about US sanctions against Moscow, according to Russia's news agency TASS.

He was speaking just days before a meeting with US President Joe Biden whose cabinet in April imposed a broad array of sanctions on Russia, including curbs to its sovereign debt market.

Read more: US set to slap new sanctions on Russia as soon as Thursday

"We hear threats from the Congress, from other sources. It is all done within the context of the United States' domestic political process," Putin was quoted as saying.

"The people who do this, they probably assume that the United States has such economic, military and political might that it can get away with that. It is no big deal, that is what they think."

Also read: Russia, retaliating against Washington, asks 10 US diplomats to leave

Putin said such behaviour reminded him of the Soviet Union.

"The problem with empires is that they think they are powerful enough to make some mistakes. We will buy these (people), bully them, make a deal with them, give necklaces to them, threaten them with battleships. And this will solve all the problems. But problems accumulate. A moment comes when they cannot be solved anymore."

Biden and Putin will meet in Geneva on June 16, the White House and the Kremlin have said, to discuss "the full range of pressing issues", according to Washington.