Ukraine Crisis: Russia Ready to Search for ‘Diplomatic Solutions’, Says Putin

President Vladimir Putin stated Wednesday that Russia is open to “diplomatic solutions,” but that the country’s interests are “non-negotiable.” This comes amid escalating tensions with the West over the Ukraine situation.

“Our country is always open for direct and honest discussion (and) the search for diplomatic solutions to the most complicated problems,” Putin said in a video message for Russia’s Defender of the Fatherland Day, a national holiday.

“(But) the interests of Russia, the security of our citizens, are non-negotiable for us,” he said. The designation of Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine as ‘independent entities’ by Russia on Monday sparked global worry, with western nations seeing it as a step toward full-fledged military combat.

“I feel it imperative to take a long-overdue decision: to recognize the independence and sovereignty of the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic immediately,” Putin stated. He also gave an alternative interpretation of Ukraine’s history, in which the country was always a part of Russia, in his speech. While this accomplishes his goal, it is also a fabrication.

Ukraine has a thousand-year history of its own. Following these remarks, Russian parliament approved Putin’s use of military action outside the country, a decision that has sparked concern following warnings from US President Joe Biden, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and NATO, among others.

Putin complimented Russia’s military in his speech, saying he was confident in their “professionalism” and that they would defend the country’s interests. In remarks that are sure to further agitate the West, Putin commended the Russian army’s war readiness and stated that the country would continue to produce cutting-edge weapons.

“We will continue to develop sophisticated weapon systems, including hypersonic and those based on new physical principles,” he said, adding that “we will expand the use of advanced digital technology and artificial intelligence elements.”

According to AFP, he stated, “Such complexes are genuinely the weapons of the future, considerably increasing the combat capacity of our military forces.”

Biden declared the “first tranche” of sanctions against Russia on Tuesday, including steps to deprive Russia of financial resources, claiming that Moscow had begun an invasion of Ukraine. “Sanctions against Russia’s government debt are being implemented. That implies we’ve cut Russia’s government off from foreign aid “If the aggressiveness continues, he threatened, he will take more drastic measures.

EU foreign ministers met late Tuesday to discuss their own sanctions, including financial penalties against Russian banks. The United Kingdom and Canada have already announced their first tranches, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau calling Russia’s actions “an attack on democracy.”

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