Vladimir Putin Gives Interview In Advance Of U.N. Address

Russian President Vladimir Putin will be addressing the United Nations and meeting with President Obama tomorrow. President Putin has found himself, or perhaps, positioned himself at the center of many world events as of late. From the occupation of Ukraine to the brokerage of the nuclear deal between the United States and its allies with Iran, President Putin has made sure that no one will forget that he continues to be a major player on the world stage.

President Putin was interviewed in advance of tomorrow’s address to the United Nations by Charlie Rose on 60 Minutes. In the interview, Charlie Rose asks President Putin about Russia’s current military buildup in Syria and if it will mean that Russian troops will actively fight there.

“Russia will not participate in any troop operations in the territory of Syria or in any other states. Well, at least we don’t plan on it right now. But we are considering intensifying our work with both President Assad and with our partners in other countries.”

Rose went further, asking Putin if he was in Syria to join the fight against ISIS.

“We support the legitimate government of Syria. And it’s my deep belief that any actions to the contrary in order to destroy the legitimate government will create a situation which you can witness now in the other countries of the region or in other regions, for instance in Libya where all the state institutions are disintegrated. We see a similar situation in Iraq. And there is no other solution to the Syrian crisis than strengthening the effective government structures and rendering them help in fighting terrorism. But, at the same time, urging them to engage in positive dialogue with the rational opposition and conduct reform.”

An interesting point in the interview came when Putin talked about how he thought that the collapse of the USSR was a “huge tragedy” in the 20th Century.

“Because, first of all, in an instant 25 million Russian people found themselves beyond the borders of the Russian state, although they were living within the borders of the Soviet Union. Then, all of a sudden, the USSR collapsed — just overnight, in fact. And it’s turned out that in the former Soviet Republics — 25 million Russian people were living. They were living in a single country. And all of a sudden, they turned out to be outside the borders of the country. You see this is a huge problem. First of all, there were everyday problems, the separation of families, social problems, economic problems. You can’t list them all. Do you think it’s normal that 25 million Russian people were abroad all of a sudden? Russia was the biggest divided nation in the world. It’s not a problem? Well, maybe not for you. But it’s a problem for me.”

The entire transcript of the interview between Charlie Rose and President Putin can be read on the 60 Minutes webpage. President Putin will meet with President Obama and address the United Nations tomorrow.

[Photo via Handout/Getty Images]

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