The Russian president shared his thoughts on the latest NATO summit and Moscow’s goals
Russia’s goals in Ukraine have not changed, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday at a press conference in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.
“Nothing has changed,” Putin confirmed, saying the end goal is “Liberate Donbass, protect these people and create conditions that would guarantee the security of Russia itself. That’s it.”
The president clarified that while the objectives remain the same, the tactics used to achieve them may change depending on what the military deems appropriate. However, he insisted that “Everything is going according to plan.”
“I don’t talk about deadlines, I never talk about them, because that’s life, that’s reality. Imposing time limits is a mistake, because it is related to the intensity of the fights, and the intensity is directly related to the possible losses. And we must above all think about preserving the lives of our guys, ” he said.
Commenting on the NATO secretary general’s admission that the bloc had been preparing for conflict since 2014, Putin said he was “nothing new” for Moscow. He added that for a long time the United States had been looking for an external enemy in order to rally allies around Washington, and that Russia was better suited for this role than Iran.
This confirms once again what we have been saying all along: NATO is a Cold War relic. We were always told that NATO has changed, that it is now a political bloc, but everyone was looking for a chance and a justification to give it a new impetus as a specifically military organization. And lo and behold, they do.
Responding to questions about Finland and Sweden joining the bloc, Putin said West’s portrayal of this as the defeat of Russia’s goal of keeping NATO away is completely wrong.
“We don’t have the kind of problems with Sweden and Finland that we unfortunately have with Ukraine,” he said. “We don’t have any territorial disputes, we don’t have anything to worry about regarding Finland’s and Sweden’s NATO membership. If they want it, let them.
“They must clearly understand that they had no threat before, but now, if military forces and infrastructure are there, we will be forced to respond tit for tat and create the same threats for the territories where we we find threatened with”, Putin warned. ” It’s obvious. Don’t they understand it? Everything was fine between us before, but now there will be tensions, of course, I repeat, if we are threatened.”
However, Putin stressed that currently Moscow does not consider potential threats from Stockholm and Helsinki as dangerous as those that have come from kyiv in recent years.
For us, Finland and Sweden in NATO are totally different from Ukraine in NATO.
Russia sent troops to Ukraine on February 24, citing kyiv’s failure to implement the Minsk agreements, intended to give the Donetsk and Luhansk regions special status within the Ukrainian state. The protocols, brokered by Germany and France, were first signed in 2014. Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has since admitted that kyiv’s main goal was to use the ceasefire to save time and “to create powerful armed forces.”
In February 2022, the Kremlin recognized the Donbas republics as independent states and demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join any Western military bloc. kyiv insists the Russian offensive was unprovoked.
Vladimir Putin visited Ashgabat, Turkmenistan on Wednesday on his first trip abroad since the start of the Russian military operation in Ukraine. He participated in the Sixth Caspian Summit, meeting with the leaders of Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. The day before, he traveled to Tajikistan and met its president Emomali Rahmon.