As the Russia-Ukraine crisis drags on into another week, Vladimir Putin is upping the ante on his anti-Western rhetoric and sparking fears that a peaceful conclusion is not in the cards.
Putin has been amassing troops and military equipment near the border of Ukraine, both in Russia and in neighboring ally Belarus. Intelligence agencies around the globe have suggested that a Russian invasion of Ukraine is now imminent, despite Putin’s continued denials of such a plan.
But now, the Russian President is lashing out at NATO and the United States, accusing them both of ignoring Moscow’s concerns.
In his first public remarks on the Ukraine crisis since last year, Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed support for continued diplomacy, but said the West had thus far ignored key Russian security demands regarding NATO’s expansion eastward into regions once dominated by the Soviet Union.
At a news conference in Moscow with Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Putin said, “In creating a threat for Russia, Ukraine creates a threat for itself.” He argued that as a future NATO member, Ukraine could attempt to forcibly retake Crimea — the peninsula Russia illegally annexed from Ukraine in 2014.Trending:
“Are we supposed to go to war with the NATO bloc?” asked Putin. “Has anyone given that any thought? Apparently not.”
Russia’s behavior regarding the situation has been bizarre, to say the least, with Moscow diplomats now attempting to suggest that the US is provoking an escalation in the region.
Both NATO and the US have declared that any invasion of Ukraine by Russia would be met with pushback, perhaps even in the form of military action.