Putin Says Western Sanctions are Like Declaration of War

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday that Western sanctions against Russia are the equivalent of declaring war, and that any attempt to enforce a no-fly zone in Ukraine would be comparable to entering the battle.

Putin stated again that his goals in Ukraine are to protect Russian-speaking communities by “demilitarizing and de-Nazifying” the country to make it neutral, reports Reuters.

Ukraine and Western countries have regarded this as a spurious excuse for the invasion he started on February 24 and have levied a slew of sanctions aimed at isolating Russia. “These sanctions are the equivalent of declaring war, but thank God it hasn’t come to that,” Putin told a group of female flight attendants at an Aeroflot training center in Moscow.

Any attempt by another country to enforce a no-fly zone over Ukraine, he added, would be deemed a step into a military conflict by Russia. NATO has turned down Kyiv’s request for a no-fly zone, claiming that it would expand the conflict beyond Ukraine’s borders.

Putin stated that the military operation was carried out solely by professional soldiers and that no conscripts were part. “There isn’t a single conscript, and we don’t intend to have any,” Putin remarked. “All of the missions will be completed by our army. That is something I have no doubt about. Everything is progressing according to schedule.”

Putin dismissed fears that Russia would be forced to declare martial law or a state of emergency. He explained that such a measure was only taken when a major internal or foreign threat existed. “We have no plans to impose any form of special regime on Russian territory at this time,” Putin stated.

Protests opposing the war in Russia have been suppressed by his government.

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