Following are excerpts from a panel discussion at the Arctic Forum in Arkhangelsk with CNBC's Geoff Cutmore, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto and Icelandic President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson today, Thursday, March 30th. Following are links to the video on CNBC.com: http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000605954, http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000605944, http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000605956, and http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000605955. Additional video can be found at CNBC.com. A full transcript will follow later today.
PUTIN ON WHETHER RUSSIA INTERFERED IN THE U.S. ELECTIONS
Watch my lips – No.
PUTIN ON MEETING PRESIDENT TRUMP
The newly implemented President is barred from implementing his agenda on health-care or international affairs, relations with Russia and we will wait till things stabilize. I believe which is the best proof that we didn't do before, at a certain point of time it will come to a close and we will decide when and where the meeting is held. These are technical issues and we have a lot of things to discuss. The other side should express readiness for constructive cooperation and work.
PUTIN ON SECURITY IN THE ARCTIC REGION
We develop our defense capabilities on Russian soil which is the territory of the Russian Federation and we assume that like any other country, for example the United States which is our Arctic neighbor have the right to develop own military capabilities with a threat to us. Because our military is local in nature, theirs is global in nature. They have been building a global missile system there and it is an overarching concern in terms of global security today. It is not a defensive capability. It is part of a nuclear force of their installed in the periphery.
PUTIN ON MILITARY CAPACITIES COMPARED TO THE U.S.
We are not going to wage wars or compete with United States in the Arctic region. Everyone knows that the US spends more on defense than all of the countries of the world. Now they will spend another 40 or 60 billion dollars. We are vested with special responsibility and the quicker we establish our nuclear cooperation, the better.
PUTIN ON REX TILLERSON'S TRIP TO MOSCOW AND IF HE WILL DISCUSS FIGHTING TERRORISM
Yes, fighting terrorism is a key agenda and if Mr. Tillerson comes I have met him at several occasions before and we will definitely talk about this topic. Without constructive work with our colleagues in Pentagon and CIA we cannot obtain what we aim to.
PUTIN ON PROTESTS IN RUSSIA
We have been in favor of fighting corruption which is definitely serious issue for us. Judging by the opinion polls, off late it has been less important but we have been fighting corruption and people see that. I am always very positive when people move the spotlight to these issues.
PUTIN ON GLOBAL WARMING
The global warming will continue anyway and anyhow. Yesterday I visited the French archipelago and back in 1930s I think, an Austrian pioneer and researcher visited that place and issued a description of the glacier and twenty years later an Italian king visited and found that ice cover had melted. And that time we didn't have much of manmade effect but global warming had started. We should be able to listen to one another to find a solution to the problem.
PUTIN ON THE PRICE OF COMMODITIES
Today Russia's GDP is the result of the economic activity of this region. Their weight keeps growing and the contribution to the economy. Another factor is significance. The growth in efficiency and the state of the economy. The second important factor that heartens us is the climate change. The number of days of navigation across the Northern sea route has been going up dramatically off late which means we will have greater transportation potential. Climate change brings in more favorable conditions and improves the potential of this region.
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