Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly urged the West to urgently provide security guarantees to Russia.
Russia’s cuts in gas exports have caused soaring international natural gas prices and heightened concerns over an energy crisis in European countries, citing “the European Union’s own initiative” and denies Russia’s responsibility.
Putin responded to a reporter’s question at the annual press conference in Moscow that day when he was asked, “What guarantees can Russia give you that it will not attack Ukraine or any other sovereign country?”
“You ask me for some guarantee, but you have to guarantee security from us,” he said.
“The side that threatens other countries is not Russia,” he said.
“If Ukraine says it will join NATO, then NATO weapons will be deployed there,” he said.
Putin has accused NATO of continuing to expand on five occasions, in violation of an oral promise in the 1990s that it would no longer advance eastward.
“So far, we have been receiving positive signs from the US about Russia’s offer of security guarantees,” he said. “Our partners said they were ready to start negotiations in Geneva early next year,” he said.
Russia has been requesting the United States and NATO to sign a security guarantee document stipulating a ban on additional NATO membership in the former Soviet Union, including Ukraine, and a ban on NATO deployment of weapons in Ukraine and neighboring regions to relieve tensions around Ukraine.
Putin also pointed out that “the US action in deciding to ‘diplomatic boycott’ of the Beijing Olympics is a mistake and unacceptable.”
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