It’s futile for the U.S. and its allies to “blackmail” Russia over the Ukraine crisis, President Vladimir Putin said in a newspaper interview.
Russia’s partners should remember the risks involved in disputes between nuclear powers, Putin said. He accused Barack Obama of adopting a “hostile” approach in naming Russia as a threat to the world in the U.S. president’s speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 24.
“We hope that our partners will realize the futility of attempts to blackmail Russia and remember what consequences discord between major nuclear powers could bring for strategic stability,” Putin told Serbia’s Politika newspaper on the eve of his visit to the Balkan nation today.
Putin said that Obama had identified Russian aggression in Europe as one of the three “major threats facing humanity,” alongside the Ebola virus and Islamic State.
“Together with the sanctions against entire sectors of our economy, this approach can be called nothing but hostile,” Putin said.
Attempts to pressure Russia with “unilateral and illegitimate restrictive measures” will impede efforts to settle the crisis, he said.
“How can we talk about de-escalation in Ukraine while the decisions on new sanctions are introduced almost simultaneously with the agreements on the peace process?” he said. “If the main goal is to isolate our country, it’s an absurd and illusory goal.”
Full article: Russia Can’t Be Blackmailed Over Ukraine, Putin Says (Bloomberg)