Putin said that economic restrictions against Russia have had “zero effect,” predicting that the current strain in relations will ease, because “it’s counterproductive and harmful for all.”
Touching on tensions in the Pacific, Putin said Russia’s military deployments on a group of Pacific islands also claimed by Japan have been caused by concerns about the U.S. military buildup in the region.
The four islands, called the Northern Territories in Japan and the southern Kurils in Russia, were seized by the former Soviet Union at the end of the World War II, preventing the two countries from signing a peace treaty.
Putin said the U.S. will likely continue to build up its missile shield in the region even if North Korea agrees to curb its nuclear and missile programs, in the same way it has continued to develop missile defenses in Europe despite a deal with Iran that curbed its nuclear program in exchange for lifting international sanctions.
“We are concerned about our security,” Putin said. “We are thinking about ways to neutralize possible threats at long distance.”