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Putin slams 'American exceptionalism'

Владимир Путин портрет рука

Russian President Vladimir Putin used a New York Times opinion piece to take a swipe at Americans' notion that the world's oldest constitutional democracy has a special responsibilities on the global stage. 

While urging President Barack Obama not to strike Syria over alleged use of chemical weapons, Putin questioned what he called "American exceptionalism." 

In his Times piece, the Russian president said he disagreed with US President Barack Obama's assertion, in a closely watched speech Tuesday, that US policy toward Syria was a manifestation of America's special role.

 "It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation," Putin wrote.

Moscow is not defending Assad but int'l law - Putin

Moscow is not defending the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria but insists on observing international law in its approach to the conflict in the country, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an article published in the Wednesday issue of The New York Times.

"We are not protecting the Syrian government, but international law," Putin said. "From the outset, Russia has advocated peaceful dialogue enabling Syrians to develop a compromise plan for their own future," he said.

Russia keeps insisting on fully employing UN Security Council resources, he said. Putin pointed out that a new opportunity to avoid military action has emerged recently.

"The United States, Russia and all members of the international community must take advantage of the Syrian government's willingness to place its chemical arsenal under international control for subsequent destruction," he said.

"Judging by the statements from President Obama, the United States sees this as an alternative to military action," he said.

Obama's conviction that US nation is exceptional is dangerous - Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin considers US President Barack Obama's conviction that the US is in some way exceptional to be dangerous.

"I carefully studied [Obama's] address to the nation on Tuesday and I would rather disagree with the case he made on American exceptionalism, stating that United States' policy is 'what makes America different. It's what makes us exceptional'. It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation," Putin said in an article published in the Wednesday issue of The New York Times.

"There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy. Their policies differ, too. We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord's blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal," Putin said.

At the same time, Putin acknowledged that his "working and personal relationship with President Obama is marked by growing trust," which the Russian leader says he appreciates.

Militants fighting in Syria may later emerge in Russia, Western countries - Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin is alarmed that, along with mercenaries from Arab countries, people from Western countries and Russia are also fighting in Syria.

"Mercenaries from Arab countries fighting there, and hundreds of militants from Western countries and even Russia, is an issue of our deep concern," Putin said in an article published in the Wednesday issue of The New York Times.

"Might they not return to our countries with experience acquired in Syria? After all, after fighting in Libya, extremists moved on to Mali," Putin said.

"This threatens us all," Putin said. He pointed out that the US State Department has designated al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, fighting with the opposition, as terrorist organizations.

"This internal conflict, fueled by foreign weapons supplied to the opposition, is one of the bloodiest in the world," Putin said.

US Syria strike could unleash "new wave of terrorism" - Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a warning "directly to the American people" late Wednesday, that military intervention in Syria could destabilize the region and damage "an entire system of international law".

"A strike would increase violence and unleash a new wave of terrorism," Putin wrote in the New York Times, arguing that it could also undermine talks on Iran's nuclear programme, and negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

Putin's article was published online ahead of talks due later Thursday in Geneva between US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, to discuss Moscow's plan for controlling Syria's chemical weapons arsenal.

"The United States, Russia and all members of the international community must take advantage of the Syrian government's willingness to place its chemical arsenal under international control for subsequent destruction," Putin said in the article.

He said there were grounds for optimism due to the "growing trust" between himself and Obama.
He reiterated his position that a fatal chemical weapons attack in August in Damascus could have been carried out by forces opposed to President Bashar al-Assad, rather than by government forces as the US and many European countries have said.

"Millions around the world increasingly see America not as a model of democracy but as relying solely on brute force," Putin wrote. "But force has proved ineffective and pointless," he added, citing international military efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Putin warns UN may see League of Nations' fate if countries bypass Security Council

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that the United Nations may suffer the League of Nations' fate if countries launch military operations in circumvention of the UN Security Council.

"No one wants the United Nations to suffer the fate of the League of Nations, which collapsed because it lacked real leverage. This is possible if influential countries bypass the United Nations and take military action without Security Council authorization," Putin said in an article published in the Wednesday issue of The New York Times.

"We need to use the United Nations Security Council and believe that preserving law and order in today's complex and turbulent world is one of the few ways to keep international relations from sliding into chaos," Putin said.

"The law is still the law, and we must follow it whether we like it or not," he said. Putin pointed out that, under current international law, force can be used only in self-defense or at the Security Council's sanction.

Syria's willingness to put its chemical weapons under int'l control should be used - Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin is urging the United States and other members of the international community to take advantage of the Syrian government's willingness to put the chemical weapons in its possession under international control.

"A new opportunity to avoid military action has emerged in the past few days. The United States, Russia and all members of the international community must take advantage of the Syrian government's willingness to place its chemical arsenal under international control for subsequent destruction," Putin said in an article published in the Wednesday issue of The New York Times.

"Judging by the statements of President Obama, the United States sees this as an alternative to military action," Putin said.

Putin worried to see that intervention in conflicts in foreign countries has become common for US

Russian President Vladimir Putin is worried to see that military intervention in internal conflicts in foreign countries has become common for the United States.

"It is alarming that military intervention in internal conflicts in foreign countries has become commonplace for the United States. Is it in America's long-term interest? I doubt it," Putin said in an article published in the Wednesday issue of The New York Times.

"Millions around the world increasingly see America not as a model of democracy but as relying solely on brute force, cobbling coalitions together under the slogan 'you're either with us or against us'," Putin said.

Every reason to believe chemical weapons in Syria were used by opposition - Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin says there is every reason to assume that chemical weapons in Syria were used not by the Syrian armed forces but by the opposition.

"No one doubts that poison gas was used in Syria. But there is every reason to believe it was used not by the Syrian Army, but by opposition forces, to provoke intervention by their powerful foreign patrons, who would be siding with the fundamentalists," Putin said in an article published in the Wednesday issue of The New York Times.

Moreover, Putin claimed that Syrian insurgents are preparing another attack - this time around against Israel.

"Reports that militants are preparing another attack - this time against Israel - cannot be ignored," Putin said.

Putin welcomes Obama's willingness to continue dialogue on Syria with Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomes US President Barack Obama's willingness to continue a dialogue on Syria with Russia.

"I welcome the president's interest in continuing the dialogue with Russia on Syria," Putin said in an article published in the Wednesday issue of The New York Times.

"We must work together to keep this hope alive, as we agreed to at the Group of 8 meeting in Lough Erne in Northern Ireland in June, and steer the discussion back toward negotiations," he said.

"If we can avoid force against Syria, this will improve the atmosphere in international affairs and strengthen mutual trust. It will be our shared success and open the door to cooperation on other critical issues," Putin said.

US strike on Syria may cause conflict spread beyond its borders - Putin

A possible US strike on Syria may cause the conflict to spread outside the country and prompt a new wave of terrorism, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an article published in the Wednesday issue of The New York Times.

"The potential strike by the United States against Syria, despite strong opposition from many countries and major political and religious leaders, including the pope, will result in more innocent victims and escalation, potentially spreading the conflict far beyond Syria's borders," Putin said in his article.

"A strike would increase violence and unleash a new wave of terrorism. It could undermine multilateral efforts to resolve the Iranian nuclear problem and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and further destabilize the Middle East and North Africa," he said.

Such a strike could also "throw the entire system of international law and order out of balance," he said.

'To take military action without Security Council authorization' is unacceptable - Putin

In a lengthy piece titled 'A Plea for Caution from Russia', Vladimir Putin reminded that the United Nations was created as a universal instrument of preventing devastating wars.

"No one wants the United Nations to suffer the fate of the League of Nations, which collapsed because it lacked real leverage. This is possible if influential countries bypass the United Nations and take military action without Security Council authorization."

"From the outset, Russia has advocated peaceful dialogue enabling Syrians to develop a compromise plan for their own future. We are not protecting the Syrian government, but international law. We need to use the United Nations Security Council and believe that preserving law and order in today’s complex and turbulent world is one of the few ways to keep international relations from sliding into chaos," Putin said in an op-ed published in the New York Times on Wednesday.

"The law is still the law, and we must follow it whether we like it or not. Under current international law, force is permitted only in self-defense or by the decision of the Security Council. Anything else is unacceptable under the United Nations Charter and would constitute an act of aggression," Putin wrote.

'It is extremely dangerous to encourage American people to see themselves as exceptional' - Putin

The New York Times on Wednesday published a column by Vladimir Putin in which the Russian president urged the United States not to launch an attack on Syria.

"My working and personal relationship with President Obama is marked by growing trust. I appreciate this. I carefully studied his address to the nation on Tuesday. And I would rather disagree with a case he made on American exceptionalism, stating that the United States’ policy is “what makes America different. It’s what makes us exceptional.” It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation. There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy. Their policies differ, too. We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal," - Putin writes.

Putin underlines that military intervention in internal conflicts of other countries has become commonplace for US. "Is it in America’s long-term interest? I doubt it. Millions around the world increasingly see America not as a model of democracy but as relying solely on brute force, cobbling coalitions together under the slogan “you’re either with us or against us."

'There is every reason to believe that poison gas was used not by the Syrian Army, but by opposition forces' - Putin writes NY Times op-ed

The New York Times has published an op-ed article written by Russian president Vladimir Putin titled, 'A plea for caution from Russia'. Putin has called for Washington to pursue diplomacy rather than use force.

"No one doubts that poison gas was used in Syria. But there is every reason to believe it was used not by the Syrian Army, but by opposition forces, to provoke intervention by their powerful foreign patrons, who would be siding with the fundamentalists. Reports that militants are preparing another attack — this time against Israel — cannot be ignored."

"The potential strike by the United States against Syria, despite strong opposition from many countries and major political and religious leaders, including the pope, will result in more innocent victims and escalation, potentially spreading the conflict far beyond Syria’s borders. A strike would increase violence and unleash a new wave of terrorism. It could undermine multilateral efforts to resolve the Iranian nuclear problem and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and further destabilize the Middle East and North Africa. It could throw the entire system of international law and order out of balance."

Putin calls for the use the United Nations Security Council as "one of the few ways to keep international relations from sliding into chaos."

Voice of Russia, DPA, nytimes.com

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