PARIS, June 4 (Xinhua) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday lambasted the U.S. foreign policy as "the most aggressive and toughest."
"It is no secret that, the United States is pursuing the most aggressive and toughest policy to defend their own interests -- at least this is how the American leaders see it -- and they do it persistently," Putin said in an interview with French television station TF1 and radio Europe 1.
However, the Russian president expressed apparent willingness to talk to his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama in France.
"It is his decision. I'm always ready for dialogue," he said, adding that he hopes the current situation does not develop into a new stage of the Cold War.
"I don't plan to avoid anyone," Putin said when asked if he would meet and shake hands with Ukraine's president-elect Petro Poroshenko in Normandy on Friday if that could be organized.
"There will be other guests, and I'm not going to avoid any of them. I will talk with all of them," Putin said.
The Russian president has been invited to France to attend a commemoration ceremony of the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy, but he isn't coming to Brussels as he has been banned from the ongoing Group of Seven (G7) summit.
A G8 summit had been scheduled to take place in Russia's Sochi in early June under the Russian presidency.
However, leaders of G7 declared in March that they would boycott the G8 summit to protest the accession of Ukraine's Crimea region into Russia.They gathered in Brussels on Wednesday instead for a two-day G7 summit.
At the summit, G7 leaders urged Putin to stop destabilizing Ukraine or face further sanctions. But G7 leaders from Britain, France and Germany will still meet with Putin in France on Thursday or Friday.
U.S. President Barack Obama has declined to offer Putin a formal meeting, though both of them will be in Normandy to attend the anniversary commemorations.
In a hawkish speech in Warsaw on Wednesday, Obama accused Russia of playing "dark tactics" to violate Ukraine's sovereignty.
The Russian leader dismissed the allegations of Russian military interference in Ukraine, delivering a scathing attack on U.S. attempts to isolate his country over Ukraine crisis.
"Proof? Let's see it!" he said. "The entire world remembers the U.S. secretary of state demonstrating the evidence of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, waving around some test tube with washing powder in the UN Security Council," he said.
"Eventually, the U.S. troops invaded Iraq, Saddam Hussein was hanged and later it turned out there had never been any weapons of mass destruction in Iraq," said Putin.
Asked if he thought U.S. officials were lying, Putin said that, "There are no armed forces, no 'Russian instructors' in Ukraine -- and there never were any."
He also accused the United States of hypocrisy in its "aggressive" attempts to punish Russia over Ukraine.
"We have virtually no military forces abroad, yet look: everywhere in the world there are American military bases, American troops thousands of kilometers from their borders," Putin said.
"They interfere in the interior affairs of this or that country, so it is difficult to accuse us of abuses," he added.
BRUSSELS, June 4 (Xinhua) -- Group of seven (G7) leaders on Wednesday urged Russia to complete its troop withdrawal from the Ukrainian border, saying they stood ready to intensify targeted sanctions against Russia.
The group of industrialized nations welcomed the May 25 election in Ukraine and Petro Poroshenko's election as Ukraine's new president, according to a statement issued after the first day meeting of the G7 summit. Full story
BERLIN, June 4 (Xinhua) -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Wednesday that the Group of Seven (G7) will follow a three-stage approach on the issue of Ukraine crisis at the upcoming meeting in Brussels, German magazine Der Spiegel reported on its website.
The German chancellor made the remarks just hours before the leaders of the seven most industrialized nations to meet in Brussels. The crisis in Ukraine and relations with Russia are expected to dominate the agenda of the two-day summit of G7. Full Story