‘Criminal’ for Russia to permit NATO move into Ukraine – Putin

Russia has authentic fears over the chance of American army {hardware} being stationed near its borders, the nation’s president, Vladimir Putin, has stated, insisting he nonetheless hopes talks with Washington can ease tensions.

Speaking alongside Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis at a press convention in Sochi on Wednesday, Putin stated that “it would be criminal inaction on our side to spinelessly watch all that’s taking place” on the subject of the prospect of neighboring Ukraine becoming a member of NATO.

According to him, “Russia conducts peace-loving foreign policy, but we have a right to provide for our own safety,” cautioning that the US-led military bloc’s weapons could be deployed further and further eastwards if Kiev’s long-standing hopes for membership were granted.

However, Putin added, negotiations held the day before with American President Joe Biden could still help to de-escalate tensions that have flared between Moscow and Washington in recent weeks. “The talks were very open, substantive, and constructive. I hope that the American side sees the results the same way. We have the possibility of continuing the dialogue, that’s the most important thing,” the Russian leader added.

Asked about the possibility of Moscow launching an invasion against Ukraine, Putin said the question was “provocative,” insisting that his country would act only in self-defense.

“We are, of course, concerned about the potential membership of Ukraine in NATO, because that would result in military bases and troops being placed in the territory of Ukraine,” he added.

Officials in Kiev and Washington have issued a collection of warnings in current weeks, claiming that Russia may launch an all-out offensive in opposition to its neighbor.

The Kremlin has constantly rejected the claims, with Putin’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, blasting the purported invasion plans as “baseless,” insisting the rhetoric is a part of a US-led “disinformation” marketing campaign. The prime official additionally mocked satellite tv for pc imagery used to proof the stories in Western media, stating the images confirmed army {hardware} a whole bunch of miles from the Ukrainian border, nearer to Belarus.

Biden and Putin held talks on Tuesday through a safe video hyperlink, with Moscow describing the discussions as “frank and businesslike.” According to the White House, Biden “voiced the deep concerns of the US and our European Allies about Russia’s escalation of forces surrounding Ukraine and made it clear that the US and our Allies would respond with strong economic and other measures in the event of military escalation.”

According to a press release from Russian officers, Putin responded that it was NATO “making dangerous attempts to conquer Ukrainian territory” and “building up its military potential at our borders.” Ahead of the assembly, the Russian president stated he would search written ensures that the bloc wouldn’t try and increase additional eastwards.

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