Russian President Vladimir Putin likened the U.S. to the post-WWII Soviet Union during his annual question-and-answer, saying that the West must respect Moscow’s interests if it wants to normalize diplomatic relations.
Putin spoke about, “certain big powers,” saying those powers “don’t need allies, they only need vassals.” He added that Russia would “never accept that role.”
“After WWII we tried to impose our development model on whole Eastern European nations, and that ended in nothing good — that wasn’t good, and we’ve got to admit it,” said Putin. He continued,” By the way, this is what the U.S. is doing across the entire world.”
When asked whether Russia had troops in Ukraine, Putin replied, ”No,” and also said that despite any friction with the West, “We don’t see anyone as enemy, and we don’t recommend anyone to see us as enemy.”
He added that Russians should not expect any further sanctions to be imposed by the West, insisting that the Ukraine crisis would end soon, and also insisting that Russia’s economy could remain strong for its people.
Even though Putin made the comments mainly in regard to the U.S. interfering in the Ukraine crisis, he was also asked if his friends exploited his kindness and his response was, “Not only friends!”
Why would he say that? Did he refer to people who are not his friends? I don’t know what he was insisting on, since he claims to have no enemies.
Although I agree with Putin on how the U.S. is acting — pushing its beliefs on the rest of the world — he also needs to stop.
In Putin’s annual Question-and-Answers he tried to get off the subject of this crisis by answering easier question, by moving to the subject of how much sleep a child should get per night or recalling how he took former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder to a Russian banya (sauna). In my opinion, he should have been much more prepared to answer the tougher questions if this was an annual event in Russia.
His answers should have been more clear — then again so should every politicians — and less contradicting of each other, using both “big powers don’t need allies” and “we don’t see anyone as enemy,” for example. But overall his interview was very confusing and the president didn’t stay on the more important topics for long. He should have been more prepared. Some of the statements he made I could say that I agreed with, but others just didn’t seem appropriate because of his own actions.
Opinion by Andrew Soto