Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has accused the U.S. of trying to draw his country into a war in Ukraine.
President Putin charged that the United States was using the current crisis as the basis for confrontation and sanctions.
He also said the U.S. was ignoring Russia’s concerns about Nato alliance forces in Europe.
Tension is high over a Russian troop build-up close to Ukraine’s borders.
Russia denies Western accusations that it is planning an invasion, nearly eight years after it annexed Crimea and backed a bloody rebellion in Ukraine’s eastern regions.
Speaking after talks with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban in Moscow, Mr. Putin said: “It seems to me that the United States is not so much concerned about the security of Ukraine… but its main task is to contain Russia’s development. In this sense Ukraine itself is just a tool to reach this goal.”
Mr. Putin said the U.S. had ignored Moscow’s concerns in its response to Russian demands for legally binding security guarantees, including a block on NATO’s further expansion to the east.
He suggested that if Ukraine were granted its wish to join NATO, it could drag the other members into a war with Russia.
“Imagine that Ukraine is a NATO member and a military operation [to regain Crimea] begins,” the Russian leader said. “What – are we going to fight with NATO? Has anyone thought about this? It seems like they haven’t.”
Edited by Jesus Chan
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