Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a press conference in the Kazakh capital of Astana on Friday that Germany had made a “mistake” by siding with NATO in the war in Ukraine.
He claimed that the decision to cancel the Nord Stream 2 pipeline was a German decision and that it was a mistake to prioritize the security of NATO and Europe over what Moscow believes to be Germany’s national interest.
“German citizens, businesses and their economy are paying the price for this mistake, because it has negative economic consequences for the eurozone as a whole, and for Germany,” he said, referring to Nord Stream 2:
By contrast, Putin believes Russia is “doing everything right” in its stalled effort to invade Ukraine, which has led to Russia being accused of repeated human rights abuses, war crimes and violations of international law.
Putin said he believed that the work of partial mobilization of personnel was “nearing its end” and that all operations related to it would be completed within two weeks.
US-based security expert Dmitry Mikhailovich told DW that while this may be true, the danger lies in the lack of training of the recruits sent to the war.
Mikhailovich said sending frequent cases with little or no training was a “dangerous recipe” and was unlikely to achieve a successful outcome for Putin.
“When he announced the mobilization, the war returned home to the Russian people,” he said. “I don’t think there is a danger of any popular uprisings any time soon, but he is starting to lose enthusiasm for this war as people start to personally sacrifice for it.”
What else did Putin say about NATO?
He said that any direct confrontation between NATO forces and Russian forces would be a “global catastrophe”.
Putin has said he has no regrets about his decision to invade Ukraine despite hugely unpopular mobilization and Russia’s meager battlefield gains in the months since the war began.
He added that he wanted to close the humanitarian corridors of Ukrainian grain if it was found to be used in what he called “terrorist acts.” Turkey, a NATO member, and the United Nations brokered a deal to bring Ukrainian grain to world markets in July.
Earlier this month, the Kerch bridge linking Russia to Crimea, which Moscow illegally annexed in 2014, was targeted with a truck bomb that Russia blamed on Ukraine.
While Kyiv residents and government officials celebrated the vandalism and the Ukrainian Postal Service ordered commemorative stamps, Ukraine has not officially announced that its forces were behind the attack. Russia blamed Ukraine’s military intelligence.
What else did Putin say about Ukraine?
At the press conference following the CSTO summit, Putin claimed that the partial mobilization he had ordered would end in two weeks.
He added that there are no future plans at the present time for more recalls. He pointed out that sixteen thousand reservists are currently involved in military activities.
“Nothing additional has been planned. No proposals have been received from the Ministry of Defense and I do not see any additional need in the foreseeable future,” he said.
Although Putin once said the invasion and capture of Ukraine would end quickly, he ordered 300,000 reservists to be called up to fight in Ukraine last month. Nearly many men of military age left the country at that time to avoid mobilization.
He said there was no need to launch massive strikes on Ukraine “for the time being” after a week of missile strikes on Ukrainian towns and cities.
“Our goal is not to destroy Ukraine,” Putin said.
What does Putin say about other countries’ perceptions of the Russian war on Ukraine?
Putin indicated that China and India preferred “peaceful dialogue” to Ukraine after their leaders clashed with him at a different summit in Uzbekistan last month.
While some countries once occupied by the Soviet Union are “concerned,” Putin said he believes there has been no change in “the nature and depth of the Russian Federation’s relations with these countries.”
The CSTO consists of Russia and five other countries that were formerly considered part of the Soviet Union: Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan.
As with the Warsaw Pact that had previously existed in vassal countries under Russian tutelage during the Cold War, members of the organization only saw Russian forces being used to quell civil unrest in their countries.
The Russian leader also said he saw “no need” for future talks with US President Joe Biden, who earlier this week rejected the idea of dialogue with Putin.
Putin said he had not yet made a decision on whether to attend the G20 summit in Bali next month, which would be his first meeting with leaders who vehemently oppose his war against Ukraine.
ar/rt (AFP, Associated Press, Reuters)