"When I was 18 and was studying in university, Vladimir Putin became president of Russian Federation".
Mr Putin has not yet said whether he would seek re-election, but he is widely expected to run and is poised to convincingly beat the same set of lacklustre veterans of past campaigns.
He did not single out U.S. President Donald Trump for personal criticism, but said Trump's behaviour was unpredictable as a result of political foes who were preventing him from fulfilling nearly all of his policy pledges. He did not explicitly mention the United States as one of these countries. "After losing the election to Trump, they have put all the blame on Russia and engaged in a frenzied anti-Russian hysteria".
In exchange for running the spoiler campaign, the news website wrote that Sobchak would be offered to return to state-controlled television or even take the helm at Kremlin-funded RT.
RT has said it faces a USA demand to register as a foreign agent and provide detailed personal data for its staff.
"The recent sanctions package adopted by the U.S. Congress was openly created to push Russian Federation out of European energy markets and to force Europe to switch to more expensive liquefied natural gas from the United States, even though the volumes there are not yet sufficient", he said.
Putin also criticized the USA and its allies for missing a chance to build a safer and more stable world after the Cold War and engaging in what he described a "policy based on arrogance, egoism and claims of exclusivity". "Does Russia wish to achieve universal nuclear disarmament or not?"
"We made a mistake in trusting you too much", he said answering a question about what he thinks was Moscow's mistake in relations with the West after the end of Cold War. "You interpreted our trust as weakness and you exploited that".
The Russian leader noted that the USA has been slow to dismantle its chemical weapons arsenals in line with an global treaty, while Russia last month wrapped up the destruction of its chemical weapons stockpiles.
At the Valdai forum of worldwide policy experts in Sochi, Putin said Russian Federation has stuck to its obligations under the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty and will continue to do so. USA officials have accused Russian Federation of developing missiles in violation of the treaty, a charge Russian Federation has denied.
The United States had tried to stir up separatism in southern Russian Federation in the 1990s, said Putin, something he said he knew for a fact from his stint leading the FSB spy agency. He said Russian Federation is also working on such weapons.
The president noted that these new advanced weapons could target specific areas better than nuclear weapons, which he said are "great enough to affect a vast territory with its blast wave and radiation".
And in comments that could have been drawn straight from the pages of the Cold War, Putin accused the United States of upsetting the strategic nuclear balance by modernising its arsenal of weapons.
"Problems should be solved in dialogue", Putin said.
Russia's President Vladimir Putin has warned against driving North Korea into a corner.