Obama says Putin wants to recreate Soviet empire

US President Barack Obama has lashed out at his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, saying he is destroying the country’s economy in order to recreate the Soviet empire.

During a speech to world leaders at the G7 summit in Germany, Obama attacked Putin over the Ukraine crisis.

“Does he continue to wreck his country’s economy and continue Russia’s isolation in pursuit of a wrong-headed desire to recreate the glories of the Soviet empire?” Obama asked.

“Or does he recognize that Russia’s greatness does not depend on violating the territorial integrity and sovereignty of other countries?” he added.

The Obama administration accuses Moscow of supporting and arming pro-Russian forces fighting in eastern Ukraine since last year. The Kremlin says the allegations are baseless.

Washington and its allies have imposed sanctions against Moscow over the crisis in Ukraine.

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