Putin Says Russia Is Open To Diplomacy But Increases Military Pressure
Russia will put its own national security interests first.
Mr. Vladimir Putin, speaking in a video statement released to coincide with the annual Defender of the Fatherland Day, did not mention his standoff with the West over Ukraine which has seen Western sanctions imposed on Russia after he decided to recognise the independence of two breakaway Ukrainian regions.
But he used the appearance to send a message to the West about his stance over the issue all the same.
Our country is always open to a direct and honest dialogue and ready to search for diplomatic solutions to the most complicated issues, said Putin.
But I want to repeat that Russia’s interests and the security of our people are unconditional. So, we will continue to strengthen and modernise our army and navy, he added.
The latest satellite photos showed an increasing amount of tanks, howitzers, armoured vehicles concentrated, as near as 10-15 kilometres from the Ukrainian border. The footage recorded by the witnesses indicated that the Russian army in Donetsk continued to shell Ukrainian defenders during Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning.
NATO Secretary-General stated that Russia amassed more than 150,000 troops near Ukraine’s borders in preparation for what it fears could be a full-scale invasion.