Putin to Obama: 'Who is he to judge?'

Putin to Obama: 'Who is he to judge?'
Sat May 24, 2014 21:11:12

Russian President Vladimir Putin has strongly dismissed repeated allegations by US President Barack Obama that Kremlin is instigating unrest in Ukraine.

Speaking to business leaders at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on Friday, Putin railed against US sanctions and rejected allegations that Russia is meddling in Ukraine.

“Who is he to judge? Who is he to judge, seriously?” the Russian president said. “If he wants to judge people, why doesn’t he get a job in court somewhere?” he added, according to an interpreter.

“It’s his point of view. And I have my point of view when it comes to certain things,” Putin continued.

The Russian leader said the US and its allies were trying to isolate Russia and urged investors “not to give in to pressure and blackmail.”

Putin said Ukraine was in a "civil war" following a "state coup" against former President Viktor Yanukovych "with support of the West, the United States."

The Russian leader made the remarks two days ahead of presidential elections in Ukraine.

Earlier in the week, Vice President Joseph R. Biden promised more economic sanctions against Moscow if it interferes in the elections.

“If Russia undermines these elections ... we must remain resolute and impose greater costs to Russia and (be) equally resolute to invest in the NATO alliance," Biden said on Wednesday.

US sanctions against Russia have so far targeted several individuals and entities, including SMP Bank and Bank Rossiya. The sanctions involve a US travel ban and a freeze on any assets these individuals and entities hold in the United States.

Tensions between Washington and Moscow heightened after Crimea declared independence from Ukraine and formally applied to become part of the Russian Federation following a referendum in March.

Washington accuses Russia of violating Ukraine’s sovereignty by stirring up pro-Russia protests in the country. Moscow denies the allegation.

However, US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland disclosed earlier this year that Washington has “invested” about $5 billion in what she called as “promoting democracy” in Ukraine over the past two decades.


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