Putin reveals when he will step down as Russian Federation president

Russian President Vladimir Putin with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

"Today we need not trade wars or even trade truces, but trade peace", Putin told an economic summit in Saint Petersburg, also attended by Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and French President Emmanuel Macron.

"Globally, if a whole country, particularly a centre of power, acts that way, the situation may have negative, if not devastating consequences", he said.

Recent US sanctions on the Kremlin and the Trump administration's move in March to expel 60 Russian diplomats from the US also haven't helped.

Macron, who had travelled to Washington in an unsuccessful bid to persuade Trump to keep faith with the Iran deal, did not explicitly criticise the USA leader. "If you asked me what is a fair price, I would say we're perfectly happy with $60 a barrel". Russia's Foreign Ministry has stated many times that Russia's sovereignty over the islands is beyond doubt.

The Russian leader said the USA withdrawal from the 2015 agreement came even as the worldwide nuclear watchdog confirmed that Tehran was fulfilling its obligations.

But observers said Putin remained the most powerful man in the country. Macron responded on a serious note that France and its allies could stand for themselves.

Putin sharply criticized the sanctions, saying they signal "not just erosion but the dismantling of a system of multilateral cooperation that took decades to build".

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also spoke at the forum and called for closer cooperation with Russian Federation. However, some observers have suggested he might seek to have the constitution changed. "In fact, Russian Federation and China have established a fairly good strategic partnership", said Putin in response to a question by Xinhua news agency during a joint interview by several major worldwide media outlets in St. Petersburg on Friday.

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