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Putin says that the West has ignored Russia's security concerns over NATO and Ukraine

Russia says the West has ignored its concerns about NATO and Ukraine

February 3, 2022: -President Vladimir Putin accused Western nations of ignoring key Russian security concerns, following the U.S.′ refusal last week to concede Moscow’s demands over Ukraine and NATO.

“It’s already clear that fundamental Russian concerns were ignored,” Putin said at a press conference on Tuesday.

Putin said that the U.S. wanted to “contain Russia” and that it was using Ukraine to do that, as he reiterated Russia’s position that any possible membership of Ukraine in NATO would “undermine Russia’s security.”

“Let’s imagine that Ukraine is a NATO member, it is completely packed with weapons, it gets advanced attack means such as those in Poland and Romania, and it started an operation in Crimea,” Putin said, which describes Crimea, a part of Ukraine annexed by Russia in 2014, as a “sovereign Russian territory.”

“Let’s imagine that Ukraine is a NATO member state, and it initiates a military operation. What should we do then, fight against the NATO bloc? Did anyone think regarding something about that? Not.”

Nonetheless, Putin said he hoped dialog more than Ukraine would continue and that a way needed to be found too, as he put it, “protect everyone’s security.”

While more than 100,000 Russian troops remain stationed at various points along Russia’s border with Ukraine, there remain heightened concerns that Putin could be poised to give his forces the green light to invade Ukraine.

Russia has denied it is planning an invasion. Still, trust in Russia’s word has been low ever since it annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and supported pro-Russian separatists in the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine. Political analysts believe that Russia wants to maintain its sphere of influence and power over former Soviet states and stop Ukraine’s gravitation toward the West.

The Kremlin has accused the West of stirring up “hysteria” over Ukraine. Russia has insisted that it just wants to protect its security interests, particularly in the face of an expanded NATO that has deployed military hardware to Eastern Europe. On the build-up of troops along its border with Ukraine, Putin has previously insisted late in the previous year that Russia has a right to move its troops wherever it likes within its territory.

Putin echoed that position on Tuesday, which states that missile launchers in Romania and Poland, of whom are NATO members, “are a threat to Russia.”

The U.S. responded to those demands in the previous week, refusing to accept Russia’s key proposals for Ukraine and NATO. Still, it signaled a willingness to continue discussions aiming at calming tensions and said there could be room for compromise in a few areas potentially.

On Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken was due to speak to Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Russia’s official response to the U.S. remains unknown, although it has delivered a written response to the U.S.

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