In Austria, Putin calls for lifting sanctions, Kurz sticks by European Union position

Russia 'not trying to split EU', says Putin

Putin: Mueller Indictments Of Russians Driven By U.S. Politics

"I believe that this is an erroneous policy, because one should not try and contain anyone, including Russian Federation, but foster cooperation, which would produce a beneficial effect for the global economy", he said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin says Western sanctions against Russia haven't worked and both Moscow and the West would benefit from lifting them.

"If you put it together with an earlier joke that Russian Federation had influenced the USA election, all in all it sounds quite amusing: We have allegedly meddled with the presidential election in the USA and Trump as a thank you has presented us with Europe".

"In essence, these are sanctions", Putin said of the tariffs.

The Russian president said he was not planning to withdraw his military forces from Syria and would remain there as long as their presence serves Russia's interests. "The understanding that a third world war could be the end of civilization should restrain us from taking extreme steps on the worldwide arena that are highly risky for modern civilization".

"They will stay there as long as it is beneficial to Russian Federation and to ensure our global obligations. When I am on vacation I see no need to hide behind the bushes, and there is nothing wrong with that", said Putin.

Britain has also blamed the nerve agent poisoning in the United Kingdom of a Russian former spy and his daughter on Russia, which it denies. "If a military agent would have been used against these people, these people would die on the spot within seconds or minutes".

Putin noted that all Russian plans and projects in Kurdistan are legitimate, emphasizing that such relations do not intend to create conflicts but aim at developing ties with Iraq and all its components, including the Kurdistan Region.

He also said that the Syrian campaign had allowed Russian Federation "to adapt [advanced weaponry] to the needs of the battlefield".

As Putin said, "the understanding of the fact that World War III might become the end of the current civilization" should keep the world powers from rash and risky actions on the global arena.

He said a laser weapons system was also already in service and that a new, more powerful, ballistic missile called Sarmat would be ready in 2020.

Putin has variously denied Russian meddling and said that "patriotically minded" hackers may have been involved separately from the Russian government.

"First we allegedly influence the U.S. presidential election, and in exchange he gives us Europe as gift". This is a complete nonsense.

"In particular, we hope that there will be progress in eastern Ukraine, so that sanctions can be removed step by step in accordance with the Minsk agreement", Kurz said, referring to a 2015 peace accord brokered by Germany and France that, so far, is far from fully implemented.

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