Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that the U.S. and NATO had “ignored” Russia’s main security demands in written responses transmitted to the Kremlin last week.
Why it matters: The comments mark the first time Putin has publicly discussed the crisis stemming from Russia’s military buildup near Ukraine since Dec. 23, before a flurry of diplomacy with the West over Moscow’s demands for a freeze on NATO expansion.
What they’re saying: “It is already clear that Russia’s fundamental concerns have been ignored. NATO refers to the right of countries to choose freely, but you can not strengthen someone’s security at the expense of others,” Putin said at a press conference with Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, according to an interpreter.
- “We haven’t seen adequate consideration of our three key requirements concerning the prevention of NATO expansion, the refusal to deploy strike weapons systems near the Russian borders as well as the return of the military infrastructure” to NATO’s 1997 borders, he continued.
- Orbán, the right-wing leader of an EU and NATO country with close ties to Russia, said he was in Moscow for a “peacemaking visit,” and that he told Putin there “is no single leader who would like to see a conflict with the Russian Federation breaking out.”
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