The Russian president affirmed that “Ukraine and the good of the Ukrainian people” was not “the objective of the West and NATO” but “but a means of defending their own interests”. Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday denounced the “imperial ambitions” of NATO, which he said seeks to assert its “hegemony” through the Ukrainian conflict. “Ukraine and the good of the Ukrainian people is not the objective of the West and NATO, but a means of defending their own interests”, affirmed Vladimir Putin, during a conference of press in Ashkhabad, the Turkmen capital. “The leading countries of NATO wish (…) to affirm their hegemony, their imperial ambitions”, he accused. To read alsoVladimir Putin hardens his showdown with NATO The Atlantic Alliance and “above all, the United States has long needed to have an external enemy around which they could unite their allies”, according to Vladimir Putin. “Iran was not good for this,” he said. “We gave them this chance, the chance to unite everyone around them,” quipped Vladimir Putin. Conversely, Vladimir Putin assured that he had no “problem” with a possible accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO. “We don’t have any problems with Sweden and Finland, such as we have with Ukraine”, declared the head of the Kremlin before adding: “If Finland and Sweden want it, let them adhere to it. It’s their business, they can join wherever they want. But “in the event of the deployment of military contingents and military infrastructure there, we will be forced to respond symmetrically and create the same threats to the territories from which the threats to us emanate,” warned Vladimir Putin. The accession process for Sweden and Finland, which decided to join the Alliance in reaction to the Russian offensive in Ukraine underway since February 24, was officially launched on Wednesday at the NATO summit in Madrid. Russia has so far denounced the aspirations of the two Nordic countries, seeing it in particular as a “destabilizing factor” for international affairs and security.
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