WORLD Putin slams 'pathetic' US forces ready to sacrifice Russia ties

WORLD

Putin slams 'pathetic' US forces ready to sacrifice Russia ties

AFP

22:02, July 19, 2018

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday slammed the US opposition to Donald Trump as "pathetic, worthless people" who were willing to sacrifice Russian-US ties to their own ambitions. 

Putin made the comments in a speech to Russian diplomats in Moscow after holding a summit in Helsinki with Trump that has ignited a political firestorm in the United States.

In a toughly-worded speech, Putin said US-Russia ties were by "some parameters" worse than during the Cold War and took aim at the US establishment.

"We see that there are forces in the US that are easily ready to sacrifice Russian-American relations for their own ambitions," Putin said.

"We see that there are forces in the US that put their narrow party interests higher than national ones," he added, describing them as "pathetic, worthless people," a well-known quote from Soviet satirists Ilya Ilf and Yevgeny Petrov.

Yet he added that these forces are "on the contrary rather powerful and strong if they are able to sell -- forgive me my bad manners -- to their citizens, millions of their citizens, various illogical things that are hard to digest."

Going into Monday's meeting in Helsinki, Trump said he wanted to improve relations with Russia, which he characterized as the worst they have ever been.

But he stunned both allies and enemies, who criticised him for taking the Russian leader's word over that of US intelligence that Moscow did not interfere in the 2016 US presidential election.

Many accused Trump of being a "traitor," saying his performance in Helsinki only deepened rumours that the Kremlin may have compromising information on him and sparked talk of new sanctions against Russia.

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