Russia said yesterday that it wanted to avoid conflict between Ukraine and Western nations, but it needs an “immediate” response from the United States and its allies to security demands.
Ukraine is at the center of rising east-west tensions, denying Moscow, after the United States and Kiev have accused Russia of the weight of a new attack on its southern neighbors.
President Putin was asked about the risks of a conflict with Ukraine at an annual press conference for the marathon, which lasted more than four hours.
“This is not our (favorable) choice. We don’t want this,” he told reporters.
Tensions over Ukraine have pushed Moscow’s relations with the West to the lowest point since the collapse of the Soviet Union about 30 years ago.
The United States, the European Union, and the Group of Seven all warn that Putin will face “massive consequences”, including severe economic sanctions in the event of a new Russian invasion.
President Putin said he received a generally positive initial response to Russia’s security proposal to ease the crisis this month and is looking forward to the prospects for negotiations to begin in Geneva early next year.
But in another answer, Putin gets even hotter when he recalls that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) “bravely deceived” Russia in the wave of expansion since the Cold War and Moscow urgently needed an answer. I did.
“You have to give us a guarantee, and soon – now,” he said.
In a phone call with reporters, Biden administration officials noted Washington’s concerns raised by Moscow and said they were ready to engage Russia in early January, but specific dates and locations have not yet been set. It wasn’t done.
On condition of anonymity, government officials reiterated that the United States would not negotiate publicly and would fully respond to Russia’s proposal in January.
“I’m hoping for a substantive response at these (January) talks … Obviously, there are some suggestions that we never agree with. The Russians probably do that. I think you know to some extent. I think there are other areas where you may be able to explore what is possible, “said officials.
Ukraine and the United States say Russia may be preparing to invade Ukraine as early as next month by tens of thousands of Russian troops deployed within the borders of a country like Russia, a former Soviet republic. Reject the accusations of.
The West, including a promise not to carry out NATO military operations in Eastern Europe, as its security is threatened by growing relations with the Western European Union and the possibility of NATO missiles being deployed on Ukraine’s territory. It states that a pledge from is required. ..
“We directly raised the question that there should be no further NATO movement to the east. The ball is on their court, they should answer us with something,” Putin said. Told.
Putin said Ukraine under a 2015 agreement intended to stop the fighting between Ukraine and pro-Russian troops in the eastern Donbas region and refuse to talk with representatives of the two secession areas there. He accused him of breaking his promise.
The Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on the contrary, claimed that Kiev did a “Titanic job” on Wednesday to bring about a new ceasefire agreement in the east.
However, Ukrainian troops reported that “armed forces of the Russian Federation” violated the latest ceasefire three times during Thursday, including mortars and grenadier launchers.
There were no casualties in those incidents, it said.
Four sources told Reuters that Russian mercenaries had been deployed in separatist-controlled eastern Ukraine in recent weeks to strengthen defenses against Ukrainian troops.
Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde, chairman of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), who is in charge of surveillance in conflict zones, said the ceasefire was “a small but important first step towards escalation along the line of contact.” I called it. ..
Biden administration officials also welcomed the move, calling it a “small step” and adding that Washington is looking for a follow-through.
Ukraine has rejected Putin’s position that Moscow is merely a mediator of the conflict and accused him of providing direct support to the separatists.
It has repeatedly provided direct negotiations with Russia, which Moscow has previously refused.
Putin revealed that he did not consider President Volodymyr Zelensky as a negotiating partner and accused him of being under the influence of what he called a radical nationalist force.
“Given what they are doing, how can we build a relationship with our current leaders? That’s virtually impossible,” he said.
Many of Russia’s security proposals calling for the withdrawal of US and Allied forces from Central and Eastern European countries that have joined NATO since 1997 are not seen as pioneering in the West.
The United States and NATO said they would discuss the package with Russia early next year, recognizing that a complete refusal could further fuel the crisis in Ukraine.
Putin also said the crackdown was aimed at curbing foreign influences, addressing an unprecedented wave of arrests against criticisms of the Kremlin.
“It reminds us of what our enemies have said for centuries. Russia cannot be defeated, it can only be destroyed from within,” he said.
He added that it was a domestic objection that brought about the collapse of the Soviet Union 30 years ago this month.
In a light note, Putin thanked Father Frost, a Russian Santa Claus handing out gifts on New Year’s Eve, for helping him become president.
Putin became president on New Year’s Eve in 1999, when Boris Yeltsin, Russia’s first post-Soviet leader, unexpectedly resigned, and Putin, then Prime Minister, took over the role.
http://www.gulf-times.com/story/706770/Putin-Russia-doesn-t-want-conflict-but-needs-immed Russia does not want conflict, but needs an “immediate” guarantee