Wednesday, September 28

Putin focuses his year-end speech on the conflict with Ukraine

Correspondent in Moscow



From Kiev announced on Wednesday the achievement of a new agreement on the umpteenth truce in the so-called “line of contact” between the Ukrainian troops and the separatist forces of the rebel territories of Donetsk and Luhansk. But anyone would say it because the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, took advantage of his traditional annual press conference yesterday to beat up the Kiev authorities again. The appearance, the 17th since he came to power, lasted four hours and answered 55 questions.

“The Minsk agreements call for changes to the Ukrainian Constitution and where are those changes? It is also written that such modifications must be agreed with the representatives of the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Lugansk People’s Republic (…) and, not only do they not propose any constitutional amendment or are willing to agree on anything, on top of that they do not even want to sit down and talk with they call them terrorists, “Putin said yesterday, responding to journalists’ questions regarding the tensions between Kiev Y Moscow.

“The Minsk agreements call for changes to the Ukrainian Constitution and where are those changes?”

In his words, the Ukrainian authorities “instead of listening to people’s wishes for peace and taking advantage of what constitutes the general feeling in Ukrainian society, Volodimir zelenski -The Ukrainian president- came to power and, like his predecessors, fell under the influence of radical elements, what they call in Ukraine “natsiki”, alluding to the ultra-nationalists, but including in the term the semantic nuance of neo-Nazi.

In the opinion of the top Russian leader, in Ukraine they would be preparing a military action to recover Donbass. «We are told: war, war, war. One gets the impression that a third Ukrainian military operation may be being prepared – against Donbass– and we are warned in advance: do not interfere, do not protect these people, “he said. According to him, “in the face of such developments, Russia must react and do something.”

The Russian leader answers questions from journalists during his appearance
The Russian leader answers questions from journalists during his appearance – Efe

Putin once again stressed that what took place in Ukraine in February 2014 was a ‘coup’, when after almost three months of revolt in Kiev’s ‘Maidan’ square, the Verkhovna Rada, the Ukrainian Parliament, decided to dismiss to the then president of the country, Victor Yanukovych. He also recalled that, during Soviet times, Ukraine, which according to him “had never been a state”, incorporated “territories that had historically belonged to Russia and did so without asking anyone, without consulting with its inhabitants.” He held Lenin responsible for it.

He also assured that “before 2014, we could not even imagine what was going to happen in Crimea. However, “after the coup in Kiev, how could we refuse to take Sevastopol and Crimea and the people who live there under our protection? It was impossible. They put us in a situation where we couldn’t make another decision, ”referring to the annexation of the peninsula in March 2014.

Crimea, matter resolved

The Kremlin has always argued that the people of Crimea, democratically and in full compliance with International Law and the Charter of the United Nations, voted in favor of reunification with Russia. In this sense, Putin reiterated yesterday that the issue of the incorporation of Crimea into Russia “is definitively closed”, thus making it clear that Kiev’s claim to recover that territory is utopian.

In his replies, the Russian president expressed discomfort at the current situation in eastern Ukraine. He stated that, in the context of hostilities between the Ukrainian Army and the separatist rebels, Kiev and its Western allies act “aggressively” in relation to Russia and are a “threat”. “We have to reflect on our security, not only for today, tomorrow or next week, but for the future (…) you cannot live looking over your shoulder to see what is going to happen, when are they going to attack us ? ”He insisted. And he referred to how the West “blatantly misled” Russia when, after the breakup of the USSR, “NATO promised not to expand” to the east.

«They demand security guarantees from us. It is you who have to give us these guarantees right now »

In this regard, Putin once again stressed the need for his country to obtain “security guarantees” from the United States and the Atlantic Alliance. «And they demand security guarantees from us. It is you who have to give us these security guarantees immediately, right now, “he said in response to a question from British television Sky News. This Thursday, Putin said that he had observed a “positive” attitude on the part of Washington and Brussels to his demands and estimated that at the beginning of 2022 there will be negotiations on the matter in Geneva.

The head of the Kremlin He also spoke about the economy of his country, the evolution of the pandemic, the poisoning suffered by his main political adversary, Alexéi Navalni, a matter of which he asked to close the page because, according to him, “there is not a single proof” of such a crime against Russian officials. He called Navalni, who is currently serving a two-and-a-half-year prison sentence, a “swindler” and said that the crackdown launched against his opponents is really aimed at preventing foreign influence in Russia. “I remind you of what our adversaries have been saying for centuries: Russia cannot be defeated, it can only be destroyed from within.”

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