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March 28, 2024 4:46 PM IST

‘Utter nonsense’: Putin rebuffs claims of plans to attack Europe, NATO countries after Ukraine

NATO | Putin | russia vs europe

Russian President Vladimir Putin has categorically rejected reports suggesting Moscow’s intention to attack Europe and NATO countries following the Ukraine crisis, terming such claims as “utter nonsense,” as reported by RT news agency on Wednesday.

Putin’s statement comes in the backdrop of his visit to the Toezhok air base in the Tver Region, where he said that Moscow does not seek confrontation with Eastern European countries viewed as “America’s vassals.”

Addressing the allegations of an imminent attack on Europe post-Ukraine, Putin dismissed them as baseless propaganda designed to instill fear and extract financial support. He said, “The claims that we are going to attack Europe after Ukraine – it is utter nonsense and intimidation of their own population just to beat the money out of them.”

Putin further highlighted the misleading tactics used by Western officials to garner support for Ukraine by exaggerating Moscow’s intentions, particularly regarding potential aggression if Kyiv were to be defeated in battle. He assured that US satellites in Eastern Europe have no reason to fear any Russian aggression.

Refuting notions of a Russian attack on neighboring countries like Poland, the Czech Republic, or the Baltic states, Putin accused certain governments of resorting to scare tactics to justify increased military spending. He remarked, “Talk of a potential Russian attack on Poland, the Czech Republic, or the Baltic states is just propaganda by governments that seek to scare their citizens to extract additional expenses from people, to make them bear this burden on their shoulders.”

Putin also criticized NATO’s expansion towards Russia’s borders, emphasising that Russia is primarily focused on defending its historical territories and protecting its people. He pointed out the proximity of NATO forces to Russian borders and questioned whether Russia had reciprocated by deploying forces near the United States.

The Toezhok air base, where Putin made these remarks, houses the 344th Training Center for Russian combat pilots, including those involved in training for operations related to the Ukraine conflict.

In a recent warning to Western powers, Putin cautioned that direct conflict between Russia and NATO, led by the US, could escalate into a global conflict akin to World War III. However, he expressed skepticism about anyone actively seeking such a scenario.

The ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict has strained Moscow’s relations with the West significantly, reminiscent of the tensions during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. Despite highlighting the risks of nuclear warfare, Putin reiterated that he has never considered the use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine.

Speaking to reporters, Putin acknowledged the possibility of future conflicts between Russia and NATO but expressed hope that such scenarios would be avoided due to the catastrophic implications of a full-scale global conflict. He questioned whether any party involved would genuinely desire such a destructive outcome.

The article reflects Putin’s strong denial of aggressive intentions towards Europe and NATO countries post-Ukraine, while also highlighting the broader geopolitical tensions and the potential risks of escalating conflicts in the region.

(With agency inputs)

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