MOSCOW – President Vladimir Putin has kept an anxious scientist guessing whether he plans to invade Ukraine, and announced Monday that he will decide by the end of the day whether to recognize the independence of two breakaway regions of Ukraine.
With Russian state media issuing ominous drumbeats for baseless reports about Ukraine’s aggression – which US officials warned Moscow would use as a pretext for military intervention – Mr. Putin used a televised meeting of his Security Council to announce that peace agreement As for the separatist lands supported by Russia, it is in fact dead.
His subordinates, all of whom preferred recognition, used the meeting to blame the United States for escalating tensions. However, the Russian foreign minister said he was ready to meet his US counterpart for talks this week in Geneva.
Nikolai Patrushev, Secretary of the Security Council Mr. Putin, said that America’s goal in its foreign policy, including in Ukraine, is “the collapse of the Russian Federation.” “The people of Ukraine are against this,” Mr. Patrushev said of the country’s pro-Western course. “They are afraid, they are forced to go down this road.”
The United States and its allies are concerned that if Moscow recognizes the enclaves, in the area known as Donbass, it may open the door for Russia to move more troops into Ukraine. US officials estimate that Russia has amassed 190,000 troops in and around Ukraine, including in Donbass, where a long-running trench war between Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed rebels has raged in recent days.
Emphasizing the possibility of recognizing the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic as independent states, Mr. Putin criticized his foreign intelligence chief, Sergei Naryshkin when he appeared to be dodgy on the issue, causing Mr. Naryshkin to stutter and stutter. Then he says that he supports the annexation of the territories.
Putin, 69, approaches the twilight of his political career, determined to polish his legacy and correct what he long considered one of the 20th century’s greatest disasters: the dissolution of the former Soviet Union. Asserting Moscow’s authority over Ukraine, a country of 44 million that was once part of the bloc and shares a 1,200-mile border with Russia, is part of his goal of restoring what he sees as Russia’s rightful place among the world’s great powers. United States and China.
By indicating that he might recognize the two breakaway regions, Putin has continued to put pressure on Russia’s smaller neighbour. His efforts were aided on Monday when Belarus indicated that Russian forces were deploying there to conduct military exercises remain indefinitely.
The announcement of its opening came to consider discussing a possible recognition of the two areas after The United States said Such a move would be a violation of a peaceful settlement with the unilaterally declared territories.
Mr. Putin, speaking at the start of a meeting of his Security Council, said that “it is clear to everyone that this scope of measures will not be implemented in any way,” referring to the peaceful settlement, known as the Minsk Accords. But he said Russia was trying to “resolve all the complications”.
Putin said the Security Council would also consider other steps related to his demands for “security guarantees” from the United States and its allies, such as a rollback of NATO’s presence in Eastern Europe and a legally binding pledge that would prevent Ukraine from joining at all. Alliance.
The United States has described Russia’s main demands as not being external actors, but has expressed a willingness to discuss other security issues, such as missile sites.
Russia has sought to portray itself as the protector of ethnic Russians living in both breakaway regions, but the United States and its allies have accused Moscow of looking for a pretext for a possible invasion of Ukraine.
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