HomeEuropePutin vows to use all means to defend annexed territories in Ukraine

Putin vows to use all means to defend annexed territories in Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday vowed to use all the powers at his disposal to defend four Ukrainian territories he is annexing after sham referendums.

“Kyiv authorities have to respect the will of these people. We will protect our land using all our forces and means at our disposal, and will do everything to ensure people’s security. This is the great liberating mission of our people,” he said at a signing ceremony that moved to incorporate the regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia into Russia — a step denounced as illegal by the government of Ukraine as well as U.S. and European leaders.

While he made no explicit reference to Russia’s nuclear arsenal, he accused the West of a history of mass destruction, in a rambling speech that sought to depict Moscow as confronting the whole West, rather than simply Ukraine.

He called upon Kyiv to cease military action and said Moscow was open to negotiations, although Ukraine has long insisted that it will not stop fighting until Russian forces entirely quit the country.

He also blamed the West for this week’s natural gas pipeline explosions in the Baltic Sea.

“Sanctions aren’t enough for the Anglo-Saxons: They have switched to sabotage by organizing an explosion on the international Nord Stream gas pipelines, which run along the bottom of the Baltic Sea. They have actually begun to destroy pan-European energy infrastructure. It is obvious to everyone who benefits from this.”

The explosions are being investigated by Swedish and Danish authorities.



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