Western nations, who previously insisted that Ukraine should defeat Russia on the battlefield, are gradually changing their position, President Vladimir Putin noted on Friday.
“They are changing their tune now, saying different things,” the Russian leader told members of the Civic Chamber, a civil society body tasked with consulting the government on policymaking.
Putin argued that the nation should become stronger in all aspects, including the economy, military, and political stability. Such strength deters hostile actors from trying to isolate Russia, he said.
“They (EU nations) excluded our energy. So what? What is the result? Our GDP will grow [up to] 3% this year, and the leading European economies are shrinking,” he noted.
“They suffer; they have real problems,” Putin added, noting that he was saying this without joy. “This doesn’t mean that we should behave aggressively. It means we must be sovereign in every sense of the word,” he concluded.
The US and its allies have accused Russia of launching an “unprovoked” attack on Ukraine last year and have pledged to support Kiev for “as long as it takes” to defeat Moscow. Washington has stated that its goal in Ukraine is to inflict a “strategic defeat” on Russia.