Sat, 02 July 2022
The Daily Ittefaq

US trying to draw Russia into war says Putin

Update : 02 Feb 2022, 09:01

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday accused the United States of trying to draw his country into a war in Ukraine.

In his first direct public comments on the crisis for nearly six weeks, a defiant Putin showed no sign of backing down from security demands that the West has called non-starters and a possible excuse to launch an invasion, which Moscow denies.

“It’s already clear now ... that fundamental Russian concerns were ignored,” Putin said at a news conference with the visiting prime minister of Hungary, one of several Nato leaders trying to intercede with him as the crisis has intensified.

He also said the US was ignoring Russia's concerns about Nato alliance forces in Europe.

Tension is high over a Russian troop build-up close to Ukraine's borders.

There’s still about 100,000 Russian troops along its border with Ukraine and the concern remains that Putin could give his troops a greenlight to invade Ukraine.

But Russia denies Western accusations that it is planning an invasion, nearly eight years after it annexed Ukraine's southern Crimea peninsula and backed a bloody rebellion in the eastern Donbas region. 

Moscow in turn accuses the Ukrainian government of failing to implement an international deal to restore peace to the east, where at least 14,000 people have been killed and Russian-backed rebels control swathes of territory.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called for calm ahead of a meeting between political advisers of Ukraine, Russia, Germany and France, known as the “Normandy format”, on Wednesday.

“There are no rose-coloured glasses, no childish illusions, everything is not simple … But there is hope,” he said in a televised address to his nation on Tuesday. “Protect your body from viruses, your brain from lies, your heart from panic.”

Speaking after talks with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban in Moscow, Mr Putin said: "It seems to me that the United States is not so much concerned about the security of Ukraine... but its main task is to contain Russia's development. In this sense Ukraine itself is just a tool to reach this goal."

Mr Putin said the US had ignored Moscow's concerns in its response to Russian demands for legally binding security guarantees, including a block on Nato's further expansion to the east.

He suggested that if Ukraine were granted its wish to join Nato, it could drag the other members into a war with Russia.

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