Russian President Vladimir Putin says Moscow has ‘proper to defend its safety’ amid NATO tensions

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Russian President Vladimir Putin, talking publicly for the primary time since his high-profile talks with US chief Joe Biden, mentioned Wednesday that Moscow reserves the suitable to “defend its safety”.

Throughout their summit by safe video hyperlink Tuesday, Biden warned Putin of a “robust” Western financial response ought to Moscow assault its neighbour.

The talks have been seen as an opportunity to decrease tensions on the Russian-Ukrainian border, the place Moscow has deployed as much as 100,000 troops, sparking fears of a serious warfare.

Russia has a peaceable international coverage, however has the suitable to defend its safety,” Putin mentioned at a information convention with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

He refused to say if Moscow deliberate to maneuver troops massing on Ukraine‘s frontier throughout the border, however mentioned that merely watching NATO transfer nearer to Russia would quantity to “legal inaction”.

“We can’t however be involved in regards to the prospect of Ukraine’s attainable admission to NATO, as a result of this can undoubtedly be adopted by the deployment of applicable army contingents, bases and weapons that threaten us,” he mentioned.

The Russian chief harassed that NATO increasing eastwards is a “very delicate” problem for Russia.

“It is likely one of the key questions in preserving Russia’s safety,” he mentioned, including that Russia had been “warning” NATO in opposition to any enlargement.

Putin advised Biden on Tuesday that Moscow seeks authorized ensures from the West that Ukraine wouldn’t be a part of NATO.

The Russian chief nonetheless hailed the talks with Biden as “constructive”, saying the pair agreed to proceed dialogue.

– France warns Russia – France on Wednesday mentioned it had despatched “robust messages” to Russia warning that it will face “strategic and large penalties” if it attacked Ukraine.

The French international ministry assertion got here after phone talks this week between the leaders of France, Germany, Italy, the UK and the US.

It mentioned that the so-called Quint of the 5 Western allies had of their talks “expressed their dedication that the sovereignty of Ukraine be revered.”

The identical day, Russia mentioned despatched planes to intercept and “escort” three French army plans flying close to its borders within the Black Sea, in an increase of tensions.

Moscow’s defence ministry mentioned its pilots escorted French Mirage-2000 and Rafale planes after stopping them from violating the Russian border.

It’s the newest signal of tensions within the Black Sea, a delicate area for Russia which controls the Crimea peninsula after annexing it from Ukraine in 2014.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky — who has mentioned he is able to negotiate with Putin — mentioned it was “constructive” that Putin and Biden spoke.

“I believe it is constructive that the president of america spoke with the president of Russia,” Zelensky mentioned.

He is because of maintain talks with Biden on Thursday.

“I imagine that Ukraine’s victory lies in the truth that america has all the time supported Ukraine, our sovereignty and independence,” Zelensky mentioned at a press convention with Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic.

He mentioned it was “vital” that Biden had taken a “private position in resolving the battle” in jap Ukraine.

Ex-Soviet Ukraine has been preventing pro-Russia separatists in its jap Lugansk and Donetsk areas since 2014, shortly after Moscow seized Crimea.

Kiev and its Western allies accuse the Kremlin of supporting the separatists — claims Moscow denies — in a battle that has claimed over 13,000 lives.

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