Russian President Putin blames US for Ukraine crisis

Vladimir PutinRussian President Vladimir Putin has accused the U.S. and its western allies of fomenting the crisis in Ukraine as part of a strategy of domination.

Putin denied his country was responsible for the conflict in an interview with the Egyptian press published on the Kremlin’s official website on Monday.

Putin said: “I would like to remind Egyptian readers that the Ukrainian crisis was not caused by the Russian Federation.

“It has emerged in response to the attempts of the U.S.A. and its western allies – who consider themselves ‘winners’ of the Cold War – to impose their will everywhere.”

Putin accused the U.S. and its European allies of exerting “interference in Ukrainian domestic affairs” and expanding the reach of the NATO military alliance against Russian interests.

“We have seen how NATO’s infrastructure has been moving closer and closer towards Russian borders and how Russian interests are being ignored,” Putin said.

‘Active contribution’

He did not disclose any details about his talks with French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel last Friday, but stated his support for a political resolution in Ukraine.

He added: “It is necessary to do one’s utmost to make all the parties to the conflict gather around the negotiating table.

“In this context, the Russian side stands for forging sustainable and direct contacts between Kiev and Donetsk and Lugansk, for continued work within the Contact Group.”

“On our part, we intend to actively contribute to that process,” Putin said.

U.S. and European leaders accuse Russia of supporting the conflict in Ukraine with arms and ammunition, while Russia says the U.S. and EU have deliberately destabilized the country in order to expand the west’s military presence in Eastern Europe through NATO.

U.S. private contractors and special force agents are also alleged to be operating in the area, according to media reports.

More than 5,300 people have been killed and 12,200 injured in eastern Ukraine since mid-April last year, according to the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights.

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