Russia Accuses West Of Seeking War


By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy

BUDAPEST (Worthy News) – Russia’s President Vladimir Putin says the and its Western allies are trying to draw his nation into in while ignoring Moscow’s main security demands.

“It’s already clear now … that fundamental Russian concerns were ignored,” he added in his first significant comments in several weeks in the crisis.

Putin suggested a possible scenario in which Ukraine was admitted to the military alliance and then tried to recapture the Crimea peninsula, a territory Russia seized in 2014.

“Let’s imagine Ukraine is a NATO member and starts these military operations. Are we supposed to go to war with the NATO bloc? Has anyone given that any thought? Apparently Not,” he stressed.

Putin spoke at a news conference with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who has a rocky relationship with the West over his perceived lack of democratic credentials.

Orbán made clear that Hungary, a member of NATO but an opponent of more against Russia, believes there is still room for compromise.

COMPROMISE POSSIBLE?

“I got convinced today that the existing differences in positions can be bridged. And it is possible to sign an agreement that would guarantee peace, guarantee Russia’s security, and is acceptable for NATO member states as well,” Orbán added.

They spoke as tensions rose near Ukraine’s borders amid a heavy Russian military buildup. Ukrainian intelligence officials estimate as many as 127,000 Russian troops near Ukraine, with equipment ranging from tanks and artillery to ammunition and air power.

Russia says it has “no intention” to invade, though it annexed Ukraine’s southern Crimea peninsula eight years ago and backed pro-Russian separatists in the eastern Donbas area.

Moscow accuses Kyiv of refusing to uphold a deal to restore peace to the east, where 14,000 people were killed in fighting between Ukrainian government forces and Russian-backed rebels.

In Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelensky warned on Tuesday that a Russian invasion would “not be a war between Ukraine and Russia – this would be a war in , a full-scale one.”

He spoke with the visiting British, Dutch, and Polish prime ministers who have expressed concern about the Ukraine-Russia standoff.

HOLDING GUN

’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson accused Putin of effectively “holding a gun… to the head of Ukraine.” He urged the Kremlin to step back from a “military disaster.”

Johnson told reporters the Ukrainian army would fight back in the event of an invasion. “There are 200,000 men and women under arms in Ukraine,” he said. “They will put up a very, very fierce and bloody resistance, and I think that parents, mothers, in Russia, should reflect on that fact,” Johnson stressed.

“And I hope very much that President Putin steps back from the path of conflict and that we engage in dialogue.”

Johnson warned that Britain would respond to Russian aggression with a “package of sanctions and other measures to be enacted the moment the first Russian toecap crosses further into Ukrainian territory.”

Britain said it would give $119 million to Ukraine to promote stable governance and energy independence from Russia after already providing massive military support.

Poland also said it had offered Ukraine tens of thousands of ammunition rounds, announcements that followed U.S. military aid deliveries.

URGING SANCTIONS

Zelensky called for sanctions before any escalation, after urging the West to tone down its rhetoric over an imminent Russian invasion saying such words hurt Ukraine’s .

The Ukrainian leader said, however, that he would support any move by Britain to deal with “dirty money” allegedly linked to the Kremlin being laundered through the City of London.

However, NATO ally Hungary is concerned about more sanctions against Russia. Hungary and other Eastern European nations are heavily dependent on Russian energy deliveries and fear such supplies could be interrupted.

Additionally, Hungary has raised eyebrows by not supporting Ukraine’s integration into NATO or the under current circumstances.

Prime Minister Orbán’s government first wants Ukraine to adjust legislation that it says discriminates against the country’s significant ethnic Hungarian community and other minorities.

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