News ID: 319851
Published: 0255 GMT February 02, 2022

Putin: U.S. trying to lure Russia into war

Putin: U.S. trying to lure Russia into war

Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the West of deliberately creating a scenario designed to lure Russia into war and ignoring its security concerns over Ukraine.

In his first direct public comments on the crisis for nearly six weeks, Putin showed no sign of backing down from security demands that the West has called non-starters and a possible excuse to launch an invasion, which Moscow denies.

"It's already clear now ... that fundamental Russian concerns were ignored," Putin said on Tuesday at a news conference with the visiting prime minister of Hungary, one of several NATO leaders trying to intercede with him as the crisis has intensified, Reuters wrote.

Putin described a potential future scenario in which Ukraine was admitted to NATO.

"Let's imagine Ukraine is a NATO member and starts these military operations. Are we supposed to go to war with the NATO bloc? Has anyone given that any thought? Apparently not," he said.

Russia has amassed more than 100,000 troops on the Ukrainian border and Western countries say Moscow may be planning to invade. Russia denies this but has said it could take unspecified military action unless its security demands are met.  

The Kremlin wants the West to respect a 1999 agreement that no country can strengthen its own security at the expense of others, which it considers at the heart of the crisis, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

He raised the charter signed in Istanbul by members of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which includes the United States and Canada, during a call with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Lavrov said Blinken accepted the need to discuss the matter further.

Putin’s remarks on Tuesday reflected a world view in which Russia needs to defend itself from an aggressive and hostile United States. Washington is not primarily concerned with Ukraine's security, but with containing Russia, Putin said.

"In this sense, Ukraine itself is just an instrument to achieve this goal," he said.

"This can be done in different ways, by drawing us into some kind of armed conflict and, with the help of their allies in Europe, forcing the introduction against us of those harsh sanctions they are talking about now in the U.S."

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said he believed after his talks with Putin that there was room for a compromise.

"I got convinced today that the existing differences in positions can be bridged and it is possible to sign an agreement that would guarantee peace, guarantee Russia's security and is acceptable for NATO member states as well," Orban said.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told France 2 Television on Wednesday there were no indications at this stage to suggest that Russia was ready to take action in Ukraine.





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