Russian President Vladimir Putin says his country wants to have normal relations with Western partners, including those in United States and Europe. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) The Western sanctions against Russian banks are harming Ukraine's economy, President Vladimir Putin said in an interview with German TV channel ARD which was aired on Saturday (November 15). Speaking in Russia's Vladivostok ahead of G20 summit in Australian Brisbane, Putin said Russian banks have extended $25 billion in loans to Ukraine. "If our European and American partners want to help Ukraine, how can they undermine the financial base limiting our financial institutions' access to world capital markets? Do they want to bankrupt our banks? In that case they will bankrupt Ukraine. Are they at all thinking what they are doing? Or politics has blurred their vision? It is known that the eyes are a part of the brain moved to the periphery. Has something switched of in their brains? " Putin said. German TV channel ARD will broadcast the full interview on Sunday (November 16). Despite the sanctions, which he said were causing losses to Russia, Putin said he was confident that Russia's economy would grow next year by 1.2 percent, with 2.3 percent growth in 2016 and 3 percent growth in 2017. His comments were at odds with forecasts by the Russian central bank, which projects growth of 0-0.1 percent over the next two years. "Of course we expect the situation to change for the better. Of course we expect the Ukrainian crisis to end," Putin said. "Of course we want to have normal relations with our partners, including in the United States and Europe. And of course what is happening to these so called sanctions is, first of all, harmful for the world economy, harmful both for us and for the world economy, and for Russia-EU relations."