Putin: Deliveries of S-300 missiles to Iran are a deterrent factor in the Middle East

By Updated at 2015-04-16 12:19:54 +0000


Moscow - President Putin's question and answer session has been running for 90 minutes and is expected to run for at least another two hours, it has largely centered on domestic issues and the state of the Russian economy with Putin occasionally touching on foreign policy.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has defended his move to approve the delivery of the long-range S-300 air defense missile system to Iran, saying the 2010 Russian ban was voluntary.

Putin said Deliveries of S-300 missiles to Iran are a deterrent factor in the Middle East and lifting Russia's ban on deliveries of defense systems to Iran was due to Iran's willingness to reach deal on nuclear program.

He said the S-300 is a defensive weapon that shouldn't pose any threat to Israel, and may in fact serve as "a deterrent factor in connection with the situation in Yemen."

EU says new round of Iran nuclear talks to take place on April 22-23 in Vienna.

Putin, asked about the death of Boris Nemtsov and detention of opposition figure Navalny, says opposition has the right to participate in Russian politics' and on Nemtsov assassination says 'this is a tragic and shameful event.'

Putin on Ukraine: 'I think that the current Ukrainian leadership is making many mistakes, and it'll show in the future, but that's their choice. For example, restarting hostilities repeatedly.' 'There are no Russian troops in Ukraine.'

'It is not our goal to rebuild an empire, like they accuse us' Putin says, 'we don't have imperial ambitions, we just want to know ethnic Russians in neighboring countries have a decent life,' Putin says.

Asked about Russians fighting with Islamic State, Putin says there is 'no direct threat' to Russia and blames its rise on US policy

Putin: The Russian economy will have recovered in about two years