from Sputnik News

The president made the comments in a major State of the Union-style address focused on the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, the broader global security crisis, and domestic social and economic issues.

Russia spent many years seeking a constructive dialogue with the West, and proposing an indivisible, equality-based system of joint security, but received only a “hypocritical” reaction – NATO’s expansion to Russia’s doorstep, and missile defense umbrellas across Europe and Asia, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said.

Speaking to lawmakers during his address to the Federal Assembly on Tuesday, Putin accused the US and its allies of playing the “same double game” in the proxy war against Russia in Ukraine as they had in the years and decades prior in other countries.

“This disgusting method of deception has used many times before. [The West] behaved just as shamelessly, duplicitously, destroying Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya, Syria. They will never be able to wash themselves clean of this shame. The concepts of honor, trust, decency are foreign to them. After many centuries of colonialism, dictate, and hegemony they have become used to everything being allowed to them, have become accustomed to spitting on the entire world; and it turned out that they treat the peoples of their own countries in the same way,” Putin said.

“We were open and sincerely ready for a constructive dialog with the West. We said and insisted that both Europe and the entire world needed an indivisible system of security based on equality for all states. For many years we offered to discuss this idea with our partners and work together on its implementation. In response, we received an indistinct or hypocritical reaction,” he said.

The Russian president recalled that as late as December 2021, Moscow “officially sent NATO drafts of an agreement on security guarantees, but received a direct refusal on all points. At that time it finally became crystal clear that the go-ahead for aggression had been given.”

The draft security agreements referred to by Putin included provisions aimed at dramatically deescalating tensions between Russia and NATO, including legally binding, written guarantees not to deploy troops, aircraft, warships and missile systems in areas where they might be seen as a threat to the national security of the other side, and a formal request by Moscow that NATO scrap plans to advance into Ukraine and other post-Soviet republics. The US and NATO dismissed Russia’s proposals and stressed that the Western bloc wouldn’t budge from its “open door” policy for new members.

Ukraine Crisis

Putin stressed that Russia was not at war with the people of Ukraine, that “the people of Ukraine are now hostages to the regime in Kiev and its Western masters,” and that thee country is being used as a “tool” and a “launchpad” for a conflict against Russia, complete with foreign military bases and military biolabs on its territory.

“Even before the start of the special military operation, Kiev negotiated with the West on the supply of air defense systems, aircraft and other heavy equipment…We also remember attempts by the Kiev regime to acquire nuclear weapons. After all, they talked about it publicly,” Putin said.

Recalling the former German and French leaders’ admission that the 2015 Minsk peace deal aimed at bringing the crisis in the Donbass to an end was a mere “bluff” aimed at rearming Ukraine and preparing it for war against Russia, Putin blasted Western officials for behaving “as if they are proud of and revel in their treachery, calling the Normandy format a performance.”

“It turns out that for the whole time that the Donbass was on fire, when blood was being shed, when Russia sincerely – I would like to emphasize this – sincerely strove for a peaceful solution, they were playing with people’s lives, playing, in fact, with marked cards,” Putin said.

As far as the ongoing military operation in Ukraine is concerned, Putin said that “step by step, we will carefully and consistently solve the tasks facing us.”

“Since 2014, the people of the Donbass fought, defended their right to live on their own land, speak in their native language, fought and did not give up under blockade and constant shelling, undisguised hatred from the Kiev regime, and believed and waited for Russia to come to the rescue,” Putin said.

“I would like to reiterate this: it was [the West] that unleashed the war. And we used force and are using force to stop it,” Putin said, recalling how, in the days before Russian forces began the operation in Ukraine a year ago, Kiev poised a massive group of forces in the Donbass in preparation “for another bloody, punitive operation” akin to the 2014-2015 civil war.

“Those who planned new attacks on Donetsk and Lugansk understood clearly that the next goal was a strike on Crimea and Sevastopol. And we knew and understood this. Today, such far-reaching plans are being talked about openly in Kiev. They have opened up, revealing what we already knew perfectly well,” Putin said.

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The Russian president said that the conflict in Ukraine was about “protecting people’s lives, our home, while the goal of the West is unlimited power.”

Guns Over Butter

Western countries “have already spent over $150 billion aiding and arming the Kiev regime. For comparison, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the G7 countries allocated about $60 billion to help the world’s poorest nations in 2020-2021. It’s clear, yes? $150 billion for war, but for the poorest countries – which are supposedly constantly cared for – $60 billion – and under the well-known demands of obedience on the part of aid recipients. And where has all the talk gone about fighting poverty, about sustainable development and the environment?” Putin asked.

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Munich Betrayal

Putin also addressed the recent accusations against Russia made at this year’s Munich Security Conference, suggesting that he got the impression that the whole point of the event was to make everyone forget about the West’s crimes before the world. “”It was they that let the genie out of the bottle – who plunged entire regions into chaos,” Putin said.

The Russian president recalled that according to the US’s own calculations, since 2001, US wars have killed nearly 900,000 people, and turned 38 million into refugees. “And today they are trying to erase this from the memory of humanity, are acting as if none of this happened,” Putin said. But neither Russia nor the world have forgotten, he added.

“They do not take into account the loss of life and tragedies, of course, because trillions of dollars are at stake – the ability to continue to rob everyone, while hiding behind words about democracy and freedom, to plant neoliberal, inherently totalitarian values, to label entire countries and peoples, to publicly insult their leaders, while suppressing dissent in their own countries, creating the image of an enemy, diverting people’s attention from corruption scandals,” Putin said.

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