President Vladimir Putin acknowledged Monday in an interview with German daily Bild that Western economic sanctions over the
In late December, the EU extended its sanctions by six months, arguing that the
Putin said, however, that "the biggest harm is currently caused by the decline of the prices for energy," according to an English-language transcript published by Bild online.
"We suffer dangerous revenue losses in our export of oil and gas, which we can partly compensate for elsewhere," he said.
"But the whole thing also has a positive side: if you earn so many petrodollars –- as we once did -– that you can buy anything abroad, this slows down developments in your own country."
"Last year, the gross domestic product had dropped by 3.8 percent. Inflation is approximately 12.7 percent. The trade balance, however, is still positive.
"For the first time in many years, we are exporting significantly more goods with a high added value, and we have more than $300 billion in gold reserves."
"Yes, we should cooperate much more closely in fighting terrorism, which is a great challenge," he said.
Asked about the crisis in
"Of course one always has to follow international law. This was also the case in
"The Russian population is absolutely clear about the situation. Napoleon once said that justice is the incarnation of God on Earth. I'm telling you: the reunification of Crimea and
In August 2008,