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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

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Putin Blames West For Starting War In Ukraine, Suspends Nuclear Treaty In His State Of The Nation Address

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Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday, in his state of the nation address, again made several allegations on US led NATO and Ukraine. While he vowed to continue with Russia’s year-long war in Ukraine, he accused the West of “starting the war” and said that Russia “did everything to stop it”.  “Limitless power is the West’s goal. We saw threats increasing, and a bloody operation in Donbas had been prepared,” he added. 

He further alleged that the “West has suppressed the media and is blocking investigations into corruption in their countries”. Putin’s speech comes three days before the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Maintaining his rhetoric against the West and said, “It is impossible to defeat Russia on the battlefield. The existence of our country is at stake and the West is trying to inflict a strategic defeat on Russia.” He added, “The West started making Ukraine anti-Russia long ago and is seeking to change local conflict into a global one. Responsibility for escalation in Ukraine lies with Western elites”. 

Putin promised that Russia would “seriously and consistently resolve the issues facing us” in Ukraine in a speech to the country’s political and military elite.

He asserted that the Ukrainian people had become “hostages of their western masters,” who had militarily, politically, and economically conquered the nation.

Russia pulls off New Start

Putin also announced that Russia would be suspending participation in New Start – a strategic arms reduction treaty between the US and Russia.

Announcing the suspension, he said, “I am forced to announce today that Russia is suspending its participation in the strategic offensive arms treaty.”

He also said that Russia needs to be ready to test nuclear weapons if the US does so first.

New Start is the only remaining nuclear arms deal between the two countries which was extended for five years in 2021.

The treaty, which was initially agreed in 2010, reduces the number of long-range nuclear warheads that can be deployed by each side from the previous Start agreement to 1,550.

Putin talks about fallen soldiers

He thanked the Russian people for their “resolution and courage”.   

By claiming that Russia had been driven into the war and that he recognised the suffering of the families of the fallen soldiers, Putin attempted to defend the conflict.

“Our fighters are fighting for the future, for restoration of historical justice. We all understand how hard it is for the relatives of the fallen soldiers. I propose to set up a special state fund to support veterans and fallen soldiers. Next steps to strengthen the army and navy should take into account experience of special military operations,” he said.

Putin’s claims on Russian economy and Western sanctions

Blaming the West for making Russian’s suffer, Putin claimed, “West has stolen our gold and forex reserves. The West provoked price increases, loss of jobs. Their aim is to make our people suffer.”

Showing confidence in the country’s economic strength, he said, “The Russian economy has proven far more strong than they thought in the West. Russia has all the financial resources it needs to guarantee its national security and development despite Western economic sanctions.”

Further blaming the Western sanctions for price rise, he said that “Western blockades prevented grain exports from Ukraine that pushed prices up globally over the past year.”

He claimed the share of Russian rubles in international transactions had been “doubled”. He said the Russian economy had only shrunk by 2.2% in 2022, adding, “I’ll remind you that in February or March they predicted a collapse of the Russian economy.”

In response, Ukraine said Putin’s speech showed Russia has “arrived at a dead end” – while the US described Putin’s speech as an “absurdity”

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