Putin said Russia is not at war and does not want confrontation with any country
Russian President Vladimir Putin has once again criticized western sanctions against his country over the Ukraine crisis.
Putin says the sanctions are aimed at curbing Russia’s development.
He noted that sanctions will not achieve their goal while they are capable of damaging Russia.
Putin added that Russia will not allow a single country to act as the world’s undisputed leader, in an apparent reference to the United States.
He says Moscow will reject such a world order.
Putin said Russia is not at war and does not want confrontation with any country.
Putin made the comments as his country has been in the spotlight in the Munich Security Conference over the Ukrainian crisis.
Putin to join 4-way talks on Paris-Berlin Ukraine plan
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin plans to hold four-way discussions with the heads of state of Germany, France and Ukraine on a peace initiative drawn up by Berlin and Paris to end the deadly crisis in neighboring Ukraine.
On Sunday, Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko are slated to exchange views on the Berlin-Paris proposal in a telephone conversation, which will also be joined by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande.
The decision was made during a meeting between Putin, Merkel and Hollande in the Russian capital Moscow on Friday.
The details of the peace plan have not been revealed yet, but reports says the scheme aims to salvage a truce agreement reached between the Kiev government and the pro-Russian forces in Belarusian capital of Minsk last September.
Hollande has said the proposal includes a demilitarized zone of 50-70 kilometers around the current battle lines in Ukraine’s restive east, referring to the Franco-German plan as “one of the last chances” to end the fighting.
“If we fail to find a lasting peace agreement, we know the scenario perfectly well – it has a name, it is called war,” Hollande added.
This is while a group of US senators have urged the White House to supply lethal weapons to the Ukrainian government.
However, the German chancellor is opposed to the move, insisting that she could not “imagine any situation in which improved equipment for the Ukrainian army leads to President Putin being so impressed that he believes he will lose militarily.”
Merkel’s remarks put her in conflict with NATO’s senior military commander, US Air Force general Philip Breedlove, who emphasized recently that Western allies should not “preclude out of hand the possibility of the military option.”
Paris and Berlin’s diplomatic efforts come amid intensified fighting Kiev’s troops and pro-Moscow forces in eastern Ukraine.
According to UN figures, so far, nearly 5,400 people have been killed in the fighting between the two sides since the beginning of the conflict in April, 2014.
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