Vladimir Putin’s traditionally predictable annual press conference quickly got off the rails on Thursday as the Russian President appeared to lose his cool in the face of Moscow’s aggression in Ukraine.
After a Sky News reporter asked if Moscow could give security guarantees and promise not to encroach on its neighbour, Putin said: “Are you demanding guarantees from us? It is you who should vouch for us. Right away. Right away. And didn’t talk about it for decades. ”
His comments came out when Ukraine released satellite image it is said to show that many Russian forces are strengthening on its borders, and the Russian Ministry of Defense has announced Exercises “offensive” in Crimea.
Moscow has repeatedly stated that the moves are in response to the threat of an expanding NATO, while Western officials see the Kremlin’s sword cutting as a form of coercive diplomacy through which they hope to keep their grip on Ukraine.
Putin repeatedly described Russia as the victim in his press conference, and asserted that Moscow was drawn into the Ukraine conflict when the country was really just a “mediator”.
“They wanted to make us a party to the conflict, and it wasn’t,” he said. (Clearly, in his view, it wasn’t Russian forces taking Crimea in 2014, the years of Kremlin propaganda, Russia’s support of the separatists, and reported weapons supply make Russia a party to the conflict.)
He accused NATO of being the real aggressor, which seemed to boil over for a short while when he suggested that the West has always sought to destroy Russia.
“They tricked us. Just trick us. Five waves of NATO expansion,” he said.
“And above all – no matter what we did, you always expressed ‘concerns.’ Get out of here with your ‘concerns’. We will do what we think is necessary. We wanted to make sure we were safe,” he said.
“Our actions will depend on the situation in the security sector. We have made it clear that further NATO expansion in the East is unacceptable. We are not the ones who came to the United States by rocket. They are the ones who set up rockets on our doorstep,” he said.
“And what if we set up missiles on the border of the US and Canada? Or Mexico? ”
Clearly angry, he continued to vent his frustration at the idea of a sovereign Ukraine, showing that the country really belonged to Vladimir Lenin.
“And to whom does California belong?” he asked, seemingly implying that California was part of Mexico before the Mexican-American War.
“And Texas? Did they forget that or something? Okay, people forgot, and they don’t remember the way they remember Crimea now. We also don’t remember who created Ukraine – Lenin, Vladimir Ilyich, when he created the Soviet Union.”
https://www.thedailybeast.com/putin-gets-angry-at-sky-news-reporter?source=articles&via=rss Putin gets angry at Sky News Reporter
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