Vladimir Putin says West takes Russia’s “red lines” lightly


President Vladimir Putin has said that the West takes Russia’s warnings lightly not to cross its “red lines” and that Moscow needs serious security guarantees from the West.

In a high-profile foreign policy speech, the Kremlin chief also called relations with the United States “unsatisfactory,” but said Russia remained open to dialogue with Washington.

Speaking to foreign policy officials in Moscow, Putin accused NATO of being openly confrontational with Russia and the West of supplying Ukraine with arms and of exacerbating tensions in the region. .

His comments follow an accumulation of Russian troops near the Ukrainian border, raising fears of an invasion.

Russia has supported a separatist insurgency in eastern Ukraine since it annexed the Crimean Peninsula in 2014.

The US military has so far come to a halt before describing Russia’s rise to power as preparation for an attack.

On Wednesday, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin conceded that “we don’t know exactly what Mr. Putin is doing.”

During a visit to the Pentagon on Thursday, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov called for global unity to prevent a further Russian “escalation” against Ukraine.

Mr. Reznikov met Mr. Austin at the Pentagon and warned of the consequences of any Russian military move.

“This possible escalation will certainly have catastrophic consequences for the whole of Europe,” Reznikov said, according to a Pentagon transcript of part of his remarks.

Mr Austin, who was a four-star army general when Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, told Mr Reznikov that the Pentagon was closely monitoring Russian movements on Ukraine’s borders.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov spoke at the Pentagon in Washington.(AP: Manuel Balce Ceneta)

“And we have made clear our concerns about Russia’s destabilizing activities and our desire for more transparency,” Austin told him, according to the Pentagon transcript.

Moscow dismissed such rhetoric as inflammatory and complained about the increase in activity in the region by NATO.

The Kremlin said that in September NATO would cross the Russian red line if it expanded its military infrastructure in Ukraine.

Moscow has since accused Ukraine and NATO of destabilizing behavior, including in the Black Sea.

In a televised speech, Mr Putin complained that Western strategic bombers carrying “very serious weapons” were flying within 20 kilometers of Russia’s borders.

“We are constantly voicing our concerns about this, talking about red lines, but we understand that our partners – how can I say in moderation – have a very superficial attitude to all of our warnings and talk about red lines,” Mr Putin said.

Belarusian crisis further destabilizes relations

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Asylum seekers hoping to enter Poland face freezing conditions.

Mr Putin said Western countries are also using a migrant crisis in Belarus to further destabilize relations.

Europe has accused Belarus of deliberately designing the queues of migrants stuck in freezing conditions near Poland.

Belarusian authorities have now transferred the migrants to a nearby warehouse.

Mr Putin said Poland and other Western countries have forgotten their humanitarian obligations, while Polish law enforcement agencies have used water cannons and grenades against migrants.

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Polish forces use water cannons on migrants at the Belarusian border.

European countries accuse Belarus of bringing in thousands of migrants from the Middle East and pushing them to attempt to cross the border illegally. Belarus denies having fomented the crisis.

The EU called on Russia to force Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko to end the crisis.

Moscow denies any direct role but has offered to mediate, while showing support for Lukashenko by organizing joint military exercises with Belarus near the border.

Despite a growing list of disputes, the Kremlin has maintained high-level contacts with Washington and has repeatedly spoken of a possible summit between Mr. Putin and US President Joe Biden to follow up on their first meeting in Geneva in June. , which the Russian president said had paved the way for improved ties.

ABC / son

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