News ID: 319716
Published: 0334 GMT January 28, 2022

Putin says West ignoring Russia's security concerns

Putin says West ignoring Russia's security concerns

Russian soldiers participate in a military exercise at the Golovenki training ground in the Moscow region on January 25, 2020.

President Vladimir Putin told French counterpart Emmanuel Macron on Friday that the West was ignoring Moscow's security concerns over Ukraine but added that Russia would hold off from taking action immediately.

Putin and Macron spoke by phone amid tensions between Russia and the West over Ukraine.

Western countries fear that a Russian troop build-up on the Ukrainian border is a precursor to a Russian invasion of its pro-Western neighbour, according to AFP.

Russia denies any plans to invade but has demanded wide-ranging security guarantees from the West, including that Ukraine never be allowed to join NATO.

The Kremlin said in a statement that Putin and Macron held a "long telephone conversation" and that Putin expressed his dissatisfaction with a US response to Moscow's demands that was delivered earlier this week.

"The US and NATO responses did not take into account Russia's fundamental concerns including preventing NATO's expansion and refusing to deploy strike weapons systems near Russia's borders," Putin told Macron, according to a readout of the call from the Kremlin.

"The key question was also ignored," Putin said, pointing to the "principle of the indivisibility of security" in international affairs, that no country should strengthen its security at the expense of others.

He said Russia would "carefully study" the responses "after which it will decide on further actions".

Russia has deployed some 100,000 troops on Ukraine's borders in recent weeks, prompting warnings from the West of severe consequences should it invade its pro-Western neighbour.

Russia’s top diplomat also said Friday that Moscow will not start a war in Ukraine but warned that it wouldn’t allow the West to trample on its security interests, AP reported.

“There won’t be a war as far as it depends on the Russian Federation, we don’t want a war,” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in a live interview with Russian radio stations. “But we won’t let our interests be rudely trampled on and ignored.”

Russia's demands, delivered last month, include the ban on NATO membership for Ukraine but also a pullback of NATO forces deployed to Eastern European and ex-Soviet countries that joined the alliance after the Cold War, according to AFP.

Washington on Wednesday delivered a reply in coordination with NATO allies, saying Ukraine had the right to determine its own allies but offering Russia talks on missile placements and other mutual concerns.

The West also stepped up its threats of possible action in response to an invasion, with the United States and Germany warning that a major gas pipeline was at stake.

The Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which Germany has defiantly built despite criticism by the United States and Eastern Europeans, will more than double supplies of Russian natural gas to Europe's largest economy.

US President Joe Biden spoke Thursday by telephone with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and said the United States was considering economic support after $650 million in military assistance over the past year.

Biden "reaffirmed the readiness of the United States along with its allies and partners to respond decisively if Russia further invades Ukraine," a White House statement said.

NATO has put 8,500 troops on standby over the Ukraine crisis, in scenes reminiscent of the Cold War with the Soviet Union, and Western countries have stepped up shipments of military aid to the country.






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