Putin, Trump 'Regularly Talk' Over the Phone

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Russian President Vladimir Putin attends his annual call-in show in Moscow, Russia.

The 65-year-old politician used the event last year to pledge to eradicate spiraling poverty, fielding nearly 70 questions in just under four hours in an event that Kremlin watchers often liken to a tsar listening to his petitioners.

Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet government and business leaders in Austria in a trip which officially marks 50 years since the two countries' energy firms Gazprom and OMV first signed a gas supply deal. "It is false and completely detached from reality because Russian Federation is a democracy and we all live under the constitution", he said.

Putin said he understands Pyongyang's demand for a security guarantee.

Moscow retaliated in kind but Putin has repeatedly said the sanctions were ineffective and counter-productive. He had some sharp words for USA and allied sanctions on the Russian economy and the steel and aluminum tariffs imposed by the Trump administration.

When asked about the development of his country's relations with Western countries, Putin stressed that anti-Russia sanctions would never make the country abandon its independent and sovereign developmental path, adding that the countries which had made a decision to adopt these embargoes under USA pressure would had to deal with the adverse effects.

"I fully agree with him - however, to prevent a possible arms [race], we should think about it, we should do something about it, give corresponding instructions to our Foreign Ministry and the US State Department", Putin added.

Putin also said there was no need for any major military operations in Syria involving Russia's armed forces and that Russian Federation could leave the country quickly if necessary. "The North Koreans see them standing before their eyes, so they would naturally demand some guarantees".

In December 2017, the Russian military announced that Syrian troops supported by Russian servicemen have completed the destruction of Islamic State (IS) terrorists in Syria.

Members of the public have submitted over 1.4 million questions, Russian news agencies reported, many of them visible on a special website set up for the event.

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Putin was responding to a caller who joked Mutko's picture should be displayed on ships because his career appeared unsinkable.

"They will be sitting by the television with bated breath. the phone in their hand and a sedative in the pocket", the Komsomolskaya Pravda tabloid joked.

A governor was called on to engage with a group of residents from a town in the Vladimir region, near Moscow, who were complaining about the state of their local health services.

"Indeed, Donald Trump and I have, firstly, met a few times at various global venues", Putin said, according to an official transcript available on the Kremlin's website, CNBC reported.

And what about plans to pull the Russian military out of Syria?

"No amount of military exercise could compare with the use of force in combat conditions", the Russian president said.

Last week, President Trump told reporters that he was " his cancelation of the summit and that it would occur as scheduled.

Putin vaguely warned Ukraine not to try any "provocations" during the World Cup.

"Will there ever be a stable ruble?" one asked, while another questioned if Russians themselves would be seeing a part of the country's vast wealth anytime soon.

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