The leader of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, rejected Western sanctions and urged other countries to follow his lead Wednesday. The United States has condemned these comments as “unacceptable.”
Vladimir Putin has said that the West “basically ignored” his demands in the Ukraine standoff. The Russian president also claimed that the US is trying to control Russia and its allies through sanctions.
Ukraine, Kyiv— As Russian forces moved towards Ukraine’s borders and Kyiv scrambled to shore up its defenses, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the US and its European allies had “essentially disregarded” Moscow’s requests for security guarantees, but showed a readiness to continue negotiations.
Mr. Putin told reporters Tuesday at a Kremlin news conference that “we didn’t see a sufficient reaction to our fundamental issues,” referring to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s “continuous eastward march” that he sees as a danger to Moscow.
Russia has stationed over 100,000 soldiers near Ukraine, raising fears in Western capitals that Mr. Putin is planning an invasion of his smaller neighbor, which he claims can only be fully autonomous in collaboration with Russia. Mr. Putin denies that he has such plans.
In reaction, the US has announced a series of harsh penalties it would implement if Russia invades Ukraine, increased military aid supplies to Kyiv, and deployed tens of thousands of troops to NATO’s eastern flank in the event of a fight.
President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine met with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki in Kyiv on Tuesday, stating that the three nations were striving to develop a relationship that was “forming a new model of political cooperation in Europe.”
On Tuesday in Kyiv, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Peter Nicholls/Zuma Press photo
The United Kingdom and Poland have been instrumental in gathering international support for Ukraine and have pledged to provide military assistance.
Mr. Zelensky also said that he has authorized a troop increase to raise the strength of the Ukrainian army in order to discourage any aggressive acts from Russia. “This edict isn’t being issued because a conflict is imminent. “This edict aims to ensure that peace, peace in Ukraine,” he said.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also talked on Tuesday, and the two are scheduled to speak again shortly when Russia replies to a set of ideas on European security arrangements that the US gave to the Kremlin last month, according to US officials.
According to one US source, Russia’s desire to continue conversations indicates that a route to agreement on basic security problems remains open.
NATO must agree to halt recruiting new members in Eastern Europe and stop putting weapons or soldiers near Russia’s borders, according to Moscow. Such demands as undermining NATO’s open-door policy, the idea of sovereignty, and the ability of nations to pick their allies have been rejected by Washington.
Mr. Putin expressed his dissatisfaction with NATO’s presence in Poland, Romania, and the Baltics on Tuesday, and said Moscow is concerned about Ukraine joining the US-led alliance.
On Monday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky signed an order enlarging the country’s army.
Irina Yakovleva/TASS/ZUMA Press photo
“Hopefully, we will finally find a solution—we are aware that it is not straightforward,” Mr. Putin said during the news conference. “But, of course, I’m not ready to speak about what it will be today.”
Meanwhile, Messrs. Johnson and Morawiecki reaffirmed support for Ukraine in Kyiv.
Mr. Johnson said, “We have to confront a harsh truth.” “As we stand here today, more than 100,000 Russian soldiers are stationed on your border, in possibly the most blatant display of anti-Ukraine animosity in our lives.”
Thousands of antitank missiles were deployed to Ukraine last month, and British soldiers are assisting in the training of Ukrainian forces. Mr. Johnson announced an extra 88 million pound ($119 million) in financing from the United Kingdom to promote good governance and energy independence in Ukraine.
Mr. Johnson refuted claims that Western concerns about Russia’s buildup are exaggerated, stressing that enabling Russia to impose conditions to Ukraine might jeopardize the whole European security architecture built since WWII.
“There’s a clear and present danger here.” He added, “We observe a big number of soldiers massed.” “The people of Ukraine and other nations will assess the United Kingdom depending on how we respond.”
“The minute the first Russian toecap crosses into Ukrainian land,” he claimed, sanctions designed by the United Kingdom would be enacted.
On Tuesday, Poland announced it will deliver tens of thousands of artillery rounds and ammunition, as well as GROM surface-to-air missiles, light infantry mortars, surveillance drones, and other equipment aimed at bolstering Ukraine’s defenses and sending a message to Moscow.
Mateusz Morawiecki, the Polish Prime Minister, and Denys Shmygal, the Ukrainian Prime Minister, met in Kyiv.
VALENTYN OGIRENKO/REUTERS/VALENTYN OGIRENKO/REUTERS/VALENTYN OGIRENKO/RE
“This is a time in which all of Europe and the Western world must unite behind the cause of Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity,” Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said in Kyiv on Tuesday.
Mr. Morawiecki also asked Germany not to start construction on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which would link Russia and Germany, seeing it as a major security danger.
“By opening this pipeline, Berlin is loading the revolver with which Putin may blackmail the whole European Union,” he claimed.
Corrections & Amplifications U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced 88 million pounds of additional funding for Ukraine. An earlier version of this article incorrectly gave the figure as 88 billion pounds. (Corrected on Feb. 2)
Courtney McBride can be reached at [email protected]
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Vladimir Putin made a series of demands to the West in an attempt to end the crisis, but they have been largely ignored. Reference: russia ukraine putin twitter.
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