Putin warns 'certain forces' in US trying to undermine Russian relationship

Putin speaks during meeting in Moscow

By RADINA GIGOVA AND JAMES MASTERS, CNN
Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin answers a question during a joint press conference with U.S. President Donald Trump on July 16, 2018, in Helsinki, Finland.

(CNN) - Russian President Vladimir Putin says his summit with U.S. President Donald Trump in Helsinki was "overall successful and led to productive agreements" but warned "certain forces in America" are trying to undermine the results.

Speaking at a meeting with ambassadors and permanent representatives in Moscow on Thursday, Putin accused forces in the U.S. of attempting to subvert relations between Washington and Moscow.

"We see that there are forces in the United States that are willing to sacrifice Russia-U.S. relations to promote their ambitions amid the domestic political strife in America," he said.

Trump was fiercely criticized when he refused to back the U.S. intelligence community's assessment of Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election during a joint news conference with Putin, instead touting Putin's strong denials -- and his desire to not back down or apologize over his performance.

Trump subsequently said he misspoke, but has not acknowledged that he repeatedly put the U.S. intelligence community's assessment and Putin's denials on the same footing.

But amid the criticism of the U.S. President, Putin took aim at those he sees as naysayers of the U.S.-Russia relationship.

"They are ready to sacrifice the interests of their businesses, which are losing multimillion-dollar contracts and the Russian market in general, as well as jobs in the United States," he said.

"Even though not many, there are jobs in place as part of cooperation with Russia. We are talking about tens of thousands, potentially hundreds of thousands, of jobs," said Putin.

"I am not saying this to scold or commend anyone. Absolutely not," he added. "These are the facts of modern life."

Putin also insisted that Russia remains open to further contacts with the U.S. on an equal and mutually beneficial basis.

"This is what not only our people but the world as a whole need," he added. " As the world's largest nuclear powers, we have special responsibility for strategic stability and security."

Putin took time to praise Trump's role in the progress of the situation on the Korean peninsula but expressed regret in the U.S.' decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal.

"This document is of crucial significance for global non-proliferation," Putin said. "Our task is to preserve this vital arrangement and to prevent the growing tension in the Middle East from getting out of control."

He added that the talks over the New START treaty, an agreement aimed to cut the number of nuclear weapons that the U.S. and Russia could deploy by about one third, was also the "correct step" at the time, while warning "unless we start working right now to coordinate its extension, it will cease to exist in a year and a half."

During the meeting, Putin also took the opportunity to denounce the NATO troop expansions in eastern Europe.

"The key to providing security and safety in Europe is in expanding cooperation and restoring trust, and not in deploying new NATO bases and military infrastructure near Russia's borders, which is what is taking place now," he said.

"We will respond appropriately to such aggressive steps, which pose a direct threat to Russia."

Copyright 2018 by CNN NewSource. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.