Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused the West of trying to “cr…

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused the West of trying to “crush” Russia, saying that these attempts are doomed to fail. He also hailed the country’s arms manufacturers for ramping up production significantly in recent months.

Following a state honors presentation ceremony at the Kremlin on Friday, Putin said that the West has sought to “sideline Russia, to weaken it. And at the end of the day, to crush [it]”

“The Russian leader adamantly declared that they will never achieve success.”

Medvedev warns of direct Russia-NATO clashREAD MORE: Medvedev warns of direct Russia-NATO clash
He went on to cite the admissions of former German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande, who revealed last year that the Minsk agreements, a roadmap for peace that they helped broker between Kiev and Moscow in 2015, had been a ploy to “give Ukraine time” to build up its military. According to Putin, Russia was willing to abide by the protocols and “did not get involved [in Ukraine] at first.”

The Russian president also claimed that Ukraine, unlike Russia, “has no future” because Kiev is entirely dependent on its foreign backers financially and and for military supplies.

In the meantime, during a special interview with AFP that was released on Saturday, Maria Zakharova, the spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry, highlighted that the Kremlin’s objectives to eliminate Nazi influence and reduce military presence in Ukraine have not wavered.

Zakharova expressed the importance of Ukraine’s neutral and non-aligned status, as well as the need to recognize the current territorial situation and protect the rights of Russian-speaking citizens and national minorities residing in the country when discussing the potential for a peace agreement vetween the neighboring nations.

The representative emphasized that Moscow has consistently been open to a peaceful resolution and has entrusted Ukraine and its international supporters with the responsibility of advancing the negotiation process.

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