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Putin Says Russia Cannot Be Isolated Over Ukraine

President Vladimir Putin attends a session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on May 23.
Russian President Vladimir Putin says it is "impossible" to isolate Russia from the global economy despite pressure from the West over the crisis in Ukraine.

Speaking on May 24 on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Putin said sanctions imposed by Western nations on Russia over its actions in Ukraine were "totally counterproductive."

He told a group of international journalists that the sanctions do not correspond to international law and led to global instability.

He said Russia took account of other countries' interests, and must also be treated equally.

He rejected talk of a new "Cold War" between Moscow and the West which he said would not be in anyone's interests.

Putin also rejected accusations Moscow was seeking to rebuild the Soviet Union. He said such claims were part of an "information war" against Russia.

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He also said Ukraine had no right to demand cuts in the price it pays for natural gas supplies from Russia.

Putin said Russia the gas dispute with Ukraine should be resolved through dialogue based on "civilised market cooperation."

With reporting by Reuters, Interfax, and AFP
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