Putin warns against "illusion of military advantage"Source: Tanjug, ITAR-TASS
MOSCOW -- In his annual address to parliament Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that "nobody should cherish the illusion of military advantage over Russia."
Putin said that he believes that the fact other countries are increasing their strategic potential, related to the U.S. missile shied, "could lead to cancellation of all previous agreements in strategic areas."
He stressed that "the missile shield is defensive in name only" while in reality it was "an essential part of the strategic offensive potential."
Addressing a wide range of issues, Putin, among others, touched on ethnic issues, and said that the society and the state must work together to combat inter-ethnic conflicts "in which are reflected all the problems faced by Russia."
"Inter-ethnic tension is provoked not by representatives of some peoples, but people who do not have any culture, the respect to the traditions, both their own ones and those of the others. This is some kind of amoral international, which includes reckless and impudent natives of several southern regions, corrupt law enforcers, who give cover to ethnic criminal groups and the so-called Russian nationalists, the so-called separatists, who are prepared to take any tragedy as a reason for vandalism and bloody bath,” the Russian leader stated, Itar-Tass reported.
Putin also told the assembly that offshore zones "still have to be taxed under Russian laws":
“Taxes on earnings of the companies registered in offshore jurisdictions but having a Russian owner - a final beneficiary - are to be levied under Russian tax rules. And taxes are to be paid to the Russian budget.”
Speaking about its relations with Ukraine, Putin said that Russia does not dictate anything to others, but is prepared to push ahead with integration projects with Ukraine if Kiev agrees.
"Russia is ready, in case an initiative comes from Kiev, to continue the work on the level of experts on Ukraine’s joining several agreements in the framework of the Customs Union," he said.
On the subject of his country's global role, the president stated: "Russia does not aspire to be a superpower and does not seek global or regional hegemony. We do not impose our patronage and do not try to teach others how to live."