Vladimir Putin blamed the West and claimed that Russia responded with force to the conflict in Ukraine.
The Russian president stated that Ukraine had been in discussions with the West regarding weapons before Russia invaded its neighbor on 24 February 2013.
Putin acknowledges that Russia is facing a difficult time – Ukraine war news
Putin also stated that Russia would suspend its participation in the key nuclear treaty between the US and Russia, which restricts the strategic nuclear arsenals of both sides.
He said, “I would repeat, they started war and we used force to stop it,” in Tuesday’s state of the nation address.
According to the Russian leader, Kyiv had held talks with the West over weapons supplies prior to the “special military operations”, as Moscow refers it.
“Playing dirty games”
He said that Russia was playing with people’s lives and trying to find a peaceful solution.
Putin stated that Russia had decided to “protect its peoples and history” through a “special military operations step-by-step”. He also warned that Moscow would “continue to solve the objectives that are before him”.
He spoke one day after US president Joe Biden visited Ukraine for the first time since the Russian invasion. Washington had pledged $500m of military assistance to Kyiv.
Continue reading: Unveil: Biden’s incredible journey to Ukraine
Sunak urges Ukraine to immediately send fighter jets
Putin declared that Russia would suspend its participation in the New START Treaty with the US. This treaty limits the number of nuclear warheads Russia and the US can deploy.
Experts claim that Russia holds the largest nuclear weapon stockpile in the world with nearly 6,000 warheads.
Putin stated that Russia is not withdrawing completely from the treaty, and that Moscow must be ready to resume nuclear weapon tests if the US does.
What is the New START Treaty?
The treaty limits the number of nuclear warheads the US and Russia can use.
The agreement stipulates that Washington and Moscow will not deploy more than 1,550 nuclear warheads, and no more than 700 long-range missiles or bombers.
Each side can inspect up to 18 strategic nuclear weapons sites each year in order to verify that the other has not violated the limits of the treaty.
It was signed in 2010 by Barack Obama, the then-US President, and Dmitry Medvedev, his Russian counterpart. It entered into force in 2011.
Both countries have reached an agreement to extend the treaty until 4 February 2026.
The US Department of State says the treaty enhances US national security by placing verifiable limits on all Russian-deployed intercontinental-range nuclear weapons.
It allows both American as Russian inspectors to verify that each side is adhering to the treaty.
The US and Russia together account for around 90% of the world’s nuclear warheads.
West “released the genie from a bottle”
The Russian president was critical of the West, saying they had “released the magic from the bottle” in the 10 years preceding the war by starting other.
To divert attention away from corruption and other socio-economic issues in their own countries, he claimed that Russia was being painted by the West as an enemy of its state.
Concerning weapons, Putin claimed that the West was in negotiations over the supply of heavy military equipment, planes, and anti-aircraft rocket systems before the operation started.
Although Russian forces have experienced three major battlefield reversals in the conflict, they still control around one-fifths of Ukraine.
The Russian president claimed that millions of West Europeans are being “led into a real spiritual disaster”, and he also criticised the “Anglican church’s plan to contemplate the idea of a gender neutral God” in his broad speech.
West “punish themselves with sanctions”
Russia’s president accused the West, through sanctions on Russian-linked individuals and companies, of collapsing its energy sector.
He stated that all sanctions are only a means to an end, but the goal is to make our citizens suffer – this was their humanistic approach.”
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He said that they had “not been successful” as the government has spent 3bn rubles on stabilizing the Russian economy.
Monday’s statement by Mr Biden stated that in addition to additional military assistance for Ukraine, the US would also announce additional sanctions against Russian officials.
Biden stated that the Russian president was wrong to believe the West would withdraw support for Ukraine. However, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the Ukrainian President, described the talks as fruitful.