"755 Americans must leave - but we could cooperate on Venus"

Russian President Vladimir Putin says his country "could introduce additional restrictions against the US, but would not do that for the time being."

Source: Tanjug
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(Getty Images, file)
(Getty Images, file)

Speaking for Russia's VGTRK about the US imposing new sanctions against Moscow and Moscow's response, Putin said the two countries have areas of comprehensive cooperation, TASS reported.

"We do have something to say and impose restrictions in such spheres of our joint activities that would be very painful for the US side. But I don’t think it should be done as it would harm the development of international relations. It would harm not only the Russian-US relations as such but would do certain damage to us," he said.

Reuters has interpreted this to mean that Putin said Russia "could impose additional measures against the US" but that he said, "I am against it as of today."

Even in such difficult circumstances, Moscow remains committed to further cooperation with the US in areas where this cooperation has great significance, the Russian agency said.

"Well, we have good plans for cooperation in outer space. For instance, both our and American researchers are interested in possible joint efforts to explore Venus," Putin said.

As for relations between the two countries, the Russian president noted:

"We have been waiting for quite a long time for positive changes (in Washington's attitude to Moscow) – we hoped that the situation will change. I thought we must demonstrate that we are not going to leave anything unanswered either."

Earlier, Putin confirmed that 755 US diplomats will be forced to leave Russia.

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