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Putin Addresses Reasons for Military Operation in Ukraine

March 17, 2022 (EIRNS)—On March 16, President Vladimir Putin opened a videoconference on socioeconomic support for the constituent entities of the Russian Federation, under the conditions of economic warfare now facing that nation. In remarks posted to the Kremlin website, he began by recapitulating the reasons for Russia’s military operation in Ukraine: The assaults on the people of the Donbas, Kiev’s refusal to move forward on the Minsk Agreement measures to negotiate with the Donbas republics, Ukraine’s expressed desires to join NATO and to obtain nuclear weapons, and the general threat to Russia’s security. He explained that a military operation that extended no further than the Donetsk and Luhansk republics would simply have moved the conflict zone farther east: “It would not have led to peace and would not have ultimately removed the threat—to our country, this time to Russia. On the contrary, a new frontline would have been extended around Donbas and its borders, and shelling and provocations would have continued. In other words, this armed conflict would have continued indefinitely.”

Russia has stated the conditions for peace, but

“Kiev’s Western patrons are just pushing them to continue the bloodshed. They incessantly supply Kiev with weapons and intelligence, as well as other types of assistance, including military advisors and mercenaries.

“They are using economic, financial, trade and other sanctions against Russia as weapons, but these sanctions have backfired in Europe and in the United States where prices of gasoline, energy and food have shot up, and jobs in the industries associated with the Russian market have been cut.”

However, he continued,

“The truth is that the problems faced by millions of people in the West are the result of many years of actions by the ruling elite of your respective countries, their mistakes, and short-sighted policies and ambitions. This elite is not thinking about how to improve the lives of their citizens in Western countries.”

The sanctions have been a major blow against the global economy and global trade, which have suffered, as has “trust in the U.S. dollar as the main reserve currency.

“The illegitimate freezing of some of the currency reserves of the Bank of Russia [central bank] marks the end of the reliability of so-called first-class assets. In fact, the U.S. and the EU have defaulted on their obligations to Russia. Now everybody knows that financial reserves can simply be stolen. And many countries in the immediate future may begin—I am sure this is what will happen—to convert their paper and digital assets into real reserves of raw materials, land, food, gold and other real assets which will only result in more shortages in these markets.”

He explained that sanctions would have been imposed regardless of Russia’s actions. Moscow’s acceptance of Crimea’s decision to the rejoin Russian Federation continues to be used as a basis for sanctions, eight years later, under the absurd pretense that the peninsula might again become part of Ukraine.

“The policy of containing and weakening Russia, including through economic isolation, a blockade, is a premeditated, long-term strategy. Western leaders are no longer hiding the fact that the sanctions are not directed against individuals or companies. Their goal is to deliver a blow to our entire economy, our social and cultural sphere, every family, and every Russian citizen.”

The attacks on the Russian Federation, Russian people, Russian culture, and the Russian internet have a geopolitical origin: “I want to be as direct as possible: Hostile geopolitical designs lie behind the hypocritical talk and recent actions by the so-called collective West. They have no use—simply no use—for a strong and sovereign Russia, and they will not forgive us for our independent policy or for standing up for our national interests.”

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