Tensions between Russia and the West are growing over Ukraine, which is located in the east of Europe, right next to Russia. As Ukraine seeks to join NATO and its NATO power is expected to grow, Russia is deploying more than 100,000 troops in the border area and even the possibility of an invasion is being discussed. Recently, even natural gas pipelines that Russia exports to Europe have been locked. In the midst of this, today (23rd) President Putin held an annual press conference with reporters from inside and outside the country.
Reporter Kim Yong-cheol explains the contents.
Russian President Vladimir Putin held a press conference in the presence of more than 500 reporters from home and abroad.
When asked about Ukraine, Russia took a hard line, saying that it had no place to back down.
Putin has said that if Western countries continue to act aggressively, they will take a corresponding military response.
[블라다미르 푸틴/러시아 대통령 : 어떻게 안보를 보장할지 이해할 필요가 있습니다. 그래서 더 이상 나토의 동진은 안 된다고 말한 것입니다. 공은 넘어갔습니다. 그들이 대답해야 합니다.]
Russia, which has gathered 100,000 troops on the Ukrainian border, is demanding an end to Ukraine’s attempts to join NATO and guarantees of security from the West.
The United States and Europe have raised the combat readiness posture of NATO’s 40,000-strong rapid response force, warning that Russia will impose strong economic sanctions if it invades Ukraine.
On the 21st, Russia also stopped operation of one of the main gas pipelines that send natural gas to Europe.
Gas prices in Europe, which imports 40% of its natural gas consumption from Russia, soared by 30%.
Russian state-owned Gazprom, which operates gas pipelines, explained that it was reducing supply due to a decrease in orders, but it is interpreted as Russia’s measures to put pressure on Europe.
Western intelligence agencies are concerned that a similar incident like Russia’s military annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea in 2014 could be repeated.
(Video editing: Lee Seung-yeol)