MOSCOW (Fwrd Axis) — Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday Russia’s demands have been ignored by the United States and its allies as the standoff between Russia and the West over Ukraine continues with no resolution in sight.
Putin made his first public comments on the issue since December comes after the British government claimed Russia is planning to replace Ukraine’s government with a pro-Moscow administration with Yevheniy Murayev being considered as a potential candidate.
The Russian President spoke at a joint press conference with Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban. Putin said it was clear Russia’s demands for NATO not expand to Ukraine and refrain from deploying offensive weapons near Russian borders have been ignored by the West.
“I hope that this dialogue will continue,” he said, adding: “I hope that we will eventually find this solution, although it is not an easy one, and we are aware of this. But what that will be, I’m not ready to say today, of course.”
Russia has over 100,000 troops near Ukraine’s borders, causing fears of an invasion. Putin has denied his country will invade and U.S. President Joe Biden has warned of severe sanctions if Russian forces decide to invade.
Putin framed his comments Tuesday as blaming the United States, saying Russia needs to defend itself. He said Washington doesn’t have Ukraine’s best interests at heart and is using Ukraine as a “tool” in a political fight during an election year.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov discussed the United States’ response in a call on Tuesday about Russia’s demands, the State Department said in a press release.
“The Secretary emphasized the U.S. willingness, bilaterally and together with Allies and partners, to continue a substantive exchange with Russia on mutual security concerns, which we intend to do in full coordination with our partners and Allies,” the statement read in part.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson met with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky Tuesday and said the U.K. stood “shoulder to shoulder” with Ukraine, according to a joint statement from both leaders.
“The leaders warned that any further Russian incursion in Ukraine would be a massive strategic mistake and have a stark humanitarian cost,” the statement said.