Putin: It was Washington that undermined strategic stability

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that the West’s “selfishness and arrogance” are pushing the world closer to a dangerous “point of no return.”

Addressing Russian Foreign Ministry officials in Moscow on Friday, Putin accused the United States and its allies in NATO of deceiving Moscow over the years-long conflict in Ukraine.

Putin said the US has long taken steps undermining global strategic stability, citing its withdrawal from treaties on anti-ballistic missile defense, on the elimination of intermediate-range and shorter-range missiles, and on open skies.

“Let me also remind you that it was Washington that undermined strategic stability by announcing a unilateral withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty,” Putin noted.

He added that Washington and its allies dismantled a confidence-building mechanism that had been active in Europe for a long time.

Putin said this misguided policy has led to an “extremely dangerous state of affairs,” alluding that this might lead to a nuclear showdown threatening the whole world.

“Ultimately, the selfishness and arrogance of Western states have led to the current extremely dangerous state of affairs. We have come unacceptably close to the point of no return,” TASS quoted Putin as saying.

“Calls for a strategic defeat of Russia, which possesses the largest arsenal of nuclear weapons, demonstrate the utter adventurism of Western politicians. They are either unaware of the scale of the threat they themselves pose or are simply obsessed with the belief in their own impunity and their own exceptionalism,” he said.

The Russian president said the West has also adopted misguided policies towards the Middle East, South Caucasus and Central Asia, leading to unfavorable outcomes.

“Two years ago, at the NATO summit in Madrid, they announced that the alliance would now deal with security issues not only in the Euro-Atlantic region but also in the Asia-Pacific region. It is obvious that behind this there is an attempt to step up pressure on those countries in the region whose development they are out to impede,” Putin said. “As you know, our country, Russia, is high on this list.”

Need for new security system

Putin stressed that the “Western model” of global security has effectively collapsed and that the world requires a new and more stable system in its place.

“Obviously, we are witnessing the collapse of the Euro-Atlantic security system. Today it simply does not exist, it needs to be essentially created anew,” Putin said.

“All this requires us, together with our partners, with all interested countries, and there are many of them, to work out our own options for ensuring security in Eurasia, proposing them then for wider international discussion.”

The Russian president said his government was ready to discuss a new security system with every party, including the NATO alliance.

‘West cheated Russia on Ukraine’

Addressing the origins of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, Putin reiterated Moscow’s position that the failure of Ukraine and its allies in the West to uphold commitments in the 2015 Minsk agreements forced Russia to launch its operations against Ukrainian forces.

Putin said that “the Minsk agreements were concluded in 2015.”

“We took their implementation very seriously and hoped that we would be able to resolve the situation within the framework of the peace process and international law,” he said.

“But everything was ultimately rejected. Kiev simply threw the Minsk agreements into the trash. As representatives of the Ukrainian elite later confessed, they were not satisfied with any of the articles in these documents; they simply lied and dodged as best they could,” Putin said.

He said the then-leaders of Germany and France, who co-authored the agreements, also didn’t want the implementation of the deal and were only trying to buy time for Ukraine to put together its armed forces using weapons they sent to it.

“They just cheated us once again, deceived us,” the Russian president lamented.

“Instead of a real peace process, instead of a policy of reintegration and national reconciliation, which Kyiv loved to talk about, Donbass was shelled for eight years. They staged terrorist attacks, murders, and organized a severe blockade,” he said.

“All these years, the residents of Donbass (women, children, old people) were declared ‘second-class’ people… What is this if not genocide in the center of Europe in the 21st century? And in Europe and the US, they pretended that nothing was happening, that no one noticed anything.”

The Russian president said they had no option but to act to prevent what he called a “catastrophe”, leading Russian forces to enter Russian-speaking regions in Western Ukraine in 2022.

Source: Foreign ministry of Russia Federation, PressTV