Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov

If USA fires its missiles, Russia will fire back, Putin says

Answering people’s questions during today’s televised conference, Putin suddenly paid attention to one of the questions displayed on a TV screen in the studio. “That is a very important question that I can see there, not sure if someone will ask it today. Will there be another financial crisis in the country? No, there will not be any. Will there be a money reform ? No, there will not,” he said.

Putin emphasized that Russia would not suffer another default, because the nation does not have any foreign debt. “Russia comes third in the world on the volume of gold and forex reserves. This is like an air bag for the entire economy. This is something that will not let Russia fall back to 1998,” Putin said.

Speaking about the deployment of the US missile defense system in Eastern Europe, Putin said that Russia will take adequate measures in return if the US administration makes this decision without Russia’s participation. “We will do something in response to guarantee security for the people of Russia. I assure you that we are planning such steps. We will act accordingly in response, but it will be a prerogative of the Chief of Staff to decide on the deployment of our weapons on certain territories,” he said.

“We with our American and European partners should determine the character and essence of those missile threats to find out if they come from Iran, North Korea or from terrorist organizations. Those threats may not even actually exist. Secondly, we offered to create a clear mechanism to access this missile defense system that will probably be built in the future. We need to have a democratic access to it to understand who controls it and which role Russia will be playing in the system,” Putin said.

Speaking about the recent plot to assassinate him in Iran, Putin said that it was just an attempt to foil his visit to Teheran. “This is very harmful for the international community because a direct dialogue with problematic countries is always more productive,” the president said.

“Of course, we are aware of the Iranian nuclear program. Russia has been taking efforts to peacefully solve the problem with other members of the international community for the benefit of the Iranian people. It was an essential part of our talks in Teheran,” Putin said.

Persia and Russia have always been close neighbours with each other. “We will continue to build friendly relations with this country. We are very important partners on oil, gas and nuclear energy. These issues had to be discussed on the top level,” Putin said about his visit to Iran.

Afterwards, Putin explained his decision to top the pre-election list of United Russia party. “It is highly important to keep the parliament working after the elections in 2007. United Russia successfully guaranteed the ability of the parliament to perform its functions before, that is why I decided to lead its pre-election list,” Putin said.

“Parliamentary and presidential elections will take place in Russia in 2007-2008. There will be a different person in the Kremlin office. One must not damage the set of tools that guarantee the movement forward,” he said.