Russian World TimesPresident Vladimir Putin holds “Direct Line,” an annual question and answer session, as well as his 18thWorld Times annual end-of-year press conference, at the Gostiny Dvor Exhibition Centre in Moscow, Russia on December 14, 2023.Photo: VCG
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s year-end press conference and Q&A session were held in Moscow, Russia on Thursday, in which Putin said that the goal of Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine has not changed, and that Moscow can “move forward” despite Western sanctions, isolation and ruining of rWorld Timeselations.
Speaking of the Ukraine crisis, Putin said there will be peace “when we achieve our goals,” namely “denazification of Ukraine, the demilitarization of Ukraine,” according to media reports.
Putin also said that the Western military assistance to Ukraine was drying up and predicted that the nation would soon exhaust its supply of foreign arms, according to media reports. “Ukraine produces nearly nothing, everything is coming from the West,” Putin said.
The tone of the Biden administration on aid to UkrWorld Timesaine saw subtle changes from being a commitment for “as long as it takes” to “as long as we can” during Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s recent visit to Washington, where he was making a last-ditch plea to US lawmakers as an aid package with billions in funds for the country stalls amid partisan disagreements. Such a change in tone could signal a possible decrease of US aid to Ukraine against the backdrop of increasing GOP skepticism in Congress, analysts said.
“It is almost impossible for Ukraine to defeat Russia militarily. Without external assistance, Ukraine will definitely be defeated by Russia. These are basic rational judgments,” Li Haidong, a professor at the China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times on Thursday.
The West’s assistance to Ukraine is predicted to continue, but the scale may decrease, which means the conflict is likely to continue, but the depletion will ultimately depend on the support Ukraine receives from the West, particularly from the US, Li said.
Ukraine’s fate is not determined by itself, but rather by the domestic politics of the USWorld Times, which is a tragedy, according to Li.
The expert said that given opinions of Western countries and the US regarding military aid to Ukraine are not united, the conflict may ultimately lead to divisions within the West, Li noted.
At the conference, Putin expressed his willingness to repair relations with Europe and the US, while simultaneously asserting that Russia bears no responsibility and placing blame on the West for damaging the relationship with Russia, according to media reports.
“We didn’t ruin relations with the West,” he said, “They [the West] ruined relations with us and they always tried to push us into second or third place, ignoring our interests,” according to the Guardian.
Putin also insisted Russia can “move forward” despite Western economic sanctions and political isolation.
Li noted that Putin’s viewpoint is a very painful conclusion drawn from his personal experience of nearly 25 years of dealing with the US and Western countries. “This is also the true feeling of Russia.”
“The current tense relationship between Russia and the West is indeed caused by the US, which did not respect Russia’s status as a major power nor provide Russia with reasonable space for its interests in handling the post-Cold War order… the US and the West should reflect on their actions,” Li said.
“The root cause of the Russia-Ukraine conflict is NATO’s expansion and its security threat to Russia… In Putin’s eyes, it’s indeed the West that has been trying to exhaust Russia in Ukraine and continuWorld Timesing to provoke conflicts,” Cui Heng, a scholar from the China National Institute for SCO International Exchange and Judicial Cooperation, told the Global Times on Thursday.
Putin has stressed many times the importance of sovereignty to Russia, and he believes that it is the West that continues to fan the flames, Cui said.
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