Putin says optimistic on resolving Ukraine crisis

Russia's President Vladimir Putin speaks during a session of the St Petersburg International Economic Forum 2014 in St Petersburg on May 23, 2014. Mr Putin said on Friday, May 23, 2014, he was upbeat on the prospects for resolving the crisis in
Russia's President Vladimir Putin speaks during a session of the St Petersburg International Economic Forum 2014 in St Petersburg on May 23, 2014. Mr Putin said on Friday, May 23, 2014, he was upbeat on the prospects for resolving the crisis in Ukraine and that doing so would help improve relations with the United States. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

ST PETERSBURG, Russia (REUTERS) - Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday he was upbeat on the prospects for resolving the crisis in Ukraine and that doing so would help improve relations with the United States.

"I'm an optimist. I am not losing faith that the situation in Ukraine will at some point become normal and we will find the inner strength to normalise relations (with the United States),"Putin told the St Petersburg International Economic Forum.

He also said that Russia did not want to isolate itself from the rest of the world and that it wanted to work with the United States on many projects. "We are not planning any self-isolation," Putin said. "We hope that common sense ... will prompt our European and U.S. partners to work with Russia."