- Title: Putin says U.S. anti-missile system in Alaska, South Korea challenges Russia
- Date: 1st June 2017
- Summary: ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA (JUNE 1, 2017) (RUSSIAN POOL) RUSSIAN PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN SHAKING HANDS WITH REPORTERS / BEING SEATED PUTIN SPEAKING, GREETING MEETING PARTICIPANTS REPORTERS (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN PRESIDENT, VLADIMIR PUTIN, SAYING (AUDIO STARTS OVER WIDE MOVING SHOT OF PUTIN SPEAKING): "First, in relation to the build-up of our military potential in the Far East of the Russian Federation and in particular on the (Kuril) islands. (CONTINUES IN SHOT) This is not Russia's initiative, just as the other part of the world - in Europe. NATO bases are getting closer to our western borders, (CONTINUES OVER WIDE SHOT OF GATHERING) their infrastructures is moving closer, its contingents are increasing, what should we do? Just simply passively look on? (CONTINUES IN SHOT) No this won't be the case. We react accordingly." WIDE SHOT OF MEETING IN PROGRESS (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN PRESIDENT, VLADIMIR PUTIN, SAYING (AUDIO STARTS OVER SHOT OF REPORTER): "On Alaska, (CONTINUES OVER MEDIUM SHOT, THEN ZOOM IN), now we see elements of anti-missile defence systems appearing in South Korea. Should we passively watch it happening, same as with what's happening near western Russia? Of course not, we are thinking how we can respond to these challenges. This is a challenge to us." REPORTERS TAKING NOTES (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) RUSSIAN PRESIDENT, VLADIMIR PUTIN, SAYING: "Now regarding (CONTINUES OVER WIDE SHOT OF MEETING) the second part (of the question), namely the theoretical possibility of a deployment of U.S. troops (CONTINUES OVER SHOT OF REPORTER TAKING NOTES) to these islands if we suppose that they will at one time move to under Japanese sovereignty. (CONTINUES IN SHOT) Yes, there is such possibility, it comes from the treaty and by the way from the signed protocols, which were not shown to us, but overall we know their content." REPORTER TAKING NOTES WIDE OF MEETING
- Embargoed: 15th June 2017 11:35
- Keywords: Far East Japan military build-up St Petersburg Russian President anti-missile system Economic Forum South Korea Kurile Islands Vladimir Putin Russia
- Location: ST PETERSBURG, RUSSIA
- City: ST PETERSBURG, RUSSIA
- Country: Russia
- Topics: Diplomacy/Foreign Policy,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA0016JG4ITJ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday (June 1) that elements of a U.S. anti-missile system being built in Alaska and South Korea were a challenge to Russia which it was obliged to respond to by building up its own forces in the region.
Putin, speaking to reporters on the sidelines of an economic forum in St Petersburg, said Russia could not stand idly by and watch while others increased their military capabilities along its borders in Europe and the Far East, adding Russia was responding in the face of 'escalating tensions' in the region.
The Russian president added that it was possible that the U.S. would deploy troops to the disputed Kuril Islands if Russia returned them to Japan.
The dispute over the four islands north of Japan's Hokkaido has prevented Tokyo and Moscow signing a peace treaty formally ending the war they fought with each other in World War Two.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe last year met repeatedly with Putin in the hope of settling the territorial dispute, but failed to achieve a breakthrough.
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