New hypersonic missiles guarantee parity with US, Vladimir Putin says

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Russian President Vladimir Putin says he believes other countries wrongly regard Russia as a threat and that mistaken concept can end if they see that the economic sanctions the West has put on Russia don't serve their interests.

Vladimir Putin takes the oath of office during a ceremony at the Kremlin in Moscow on 7 May 2018 after being re-elected as president.

"Russia, of all countries, is not interested in it because North Korea is our neighbor", Putin said, according to a transcript of the interview published by the Russian presidency.

"The understanding that a third world war could be the end of civilization should restrain us from taking extreme steps on the global arena that are highly risky for modern civilization", Putin said during his annual televised call-in show.

The Russian leader said steel tariffs imposed by Washington on other nations amounted to sanctions, and that European countries had never expected they would be affected by such measures.

But the leader's lectures to officials that they must do better to resolve people's daily problems helped deliver the underlying message, which many Russians accept, that any difficulties they face in their lives are the fault of Putin's subordinates rather than the president.

On the worldwide front, Putin also took the opportunity to say that Russian Federation would remain in Syria for as long as it was beneficial to Moscow. Well there you go.

"All the facilities need to be able to cover their costs", Putin said during an annual phone-in on Thursday.

"They will stay there as long as it is beneficial to Russian Federation and to ensure our worldwide obligations".

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"So, we influenced the USA elections, and he gifted us Europe in return?" he asked.

"One of the very well-known publishers in Germany wrote that President [Donald] Trump is pushing Europe into Putin's hands", he said.

"Infrastructure built in Russian Federation for the World Cup should pay off in the future and be used for the development of popular sports".

Critics say the event, being held a week before the World Cup starts, is a stage-managed piece of theatre created to let Russians let off steam and fleetingly feel as if they can influence a bureaucratic, top-down system.

"If, as Britain claims, a military-grade agent was used against these people, they would've died in a matter of minutes or seconds".

Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found unconscious in March on a bench at a shopping center in Salisbury.

"There are rumors circulating now that Mr. Soros is planning to make the euro highly volatile", Putin said, without providing evidence.

The "traditional question" of Putin's eventual successor came up, to which the 65-year-old said he wouldn't be anointing the next president.

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