Speaking alongside Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis at a press conference in Sochi on Wednesday, Putin said that “it would be criminal inaction on our side to spinelessly watch all that’s taking place” when it comes to the prospect of neighboring Ukraine joining NATO.
According to him, “Russia conducts peace-loving foreign policy, but we have a right to provide for our own safety,” cautioning that the US-led military bloc’s weapons could be deployed further and further eastwards if Kiev’s long-standing hopes for membership were granted.
However, Putin added, negotiations held the day before with American President Joe Biden could still help to de-escalate tensions that have flared between Moscow and Washington in recent weeks. “The talks were very open, substantive, and constructive. I hope that the American side sees the results the same way. We have the possibility of continuing the dialogue, that’s the most important thing,” the Russian leader added.
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