Friday, January 21

Putin welcomes his talks with Biden but insists that Ukraine should not join NATO

Correspondent in Moscow



Russian President Vladimir Putin commented for the first time yesterday on the outcome of the telematics summit he held on Tuesday with his US counterpart, Joe Biden, saying it was “constructive.” “The conversation was very open, substantial and I would say constructive. In any case, I hope that this is how the US side will evaluate it, ”Putin said during a press conference in Sochi in the company of Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

During the videoconference, which lasted just over two hours, the American president expressed his concern about the concentration of Russian troops near the border with Ukraine and warned that, if there were not “a reduction in the current military escalation and a return to the diplomatic channel ‘, Russia will have to face “Tough measures of an economic nature and of all kinds”. The Kremlin chief, for his part, called for Ukraine not to be admitted to NATO and urged that Kiev comply with the Minsk agreements.

Yesterday in Sochi, Putin said that “now we have the opportunity to continue the dialogue with the US president and this is the most important thing.” In his words, «Moscow to prepare proposals on security issues in a few days, in a week, and they will be presented to the United States. “We cannot help but worry about the prospect of Ukraine’s possible admission to NATO, because undoubtedly this will be followed by the deployment of military contingents, bases and weapons that will threaten Russia,” Putin insisted yesterday.

And he added, referring to Ukraine, that “each country has the right to choose the alliances it deems appropriate, but without putting at risk the security of a third country, in this case Russia. It is like the freedom of the people, it ends where the right to freedom of the other begins ». In his opinion, “Russia has the right to defend its security.”

For his part, the Ukrainian President, Volodimir Zelenski, who will also hold a video conference with Biden today to be informed of the outcome of the talks with Putin, yesterday praised the personal role of the American leader. “In general, I think it is positive that the American president has spoken with the Russian president. I would like to comment on the details of this conversation tomorrow, after speaking with President Biden, “Zelenski told reporters. According to his point of view, “it is a victory for Ukraine that the United States has always supported us, our sovereignty and independence (…) but now we also see a personal reaction, we see Biden’s personal role in resolving the conflict.”

Meanwhile, the acting director of the Third European Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Oleg Krasnitski, has assured the RIA-Nóvosti agency that “there is no contraindication for the United States to join the Normandy Quartet” (Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine) to achieve a solution to the Donbass problem. This was the proposal that the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, made to his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, last week in Stockholm.

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