Russian President Vladimir Putin said again blamed the US for Islamic terrorism and unrest in Ukraine in a report that described his speech as “diatribe … that was reminiscent of the Cold War.”
“We did not start this,” Putin said in the Reuters report, accusing the US of trying “remake the whole world” with its own interests first. The agency said it was a “a 40-minute diatribe against the West that was reminiscent of the Cold War and underlined the depth of the rift between Moscow and the West, Putin also denied trying to rebuild the Soviet empire at the expense of Russia’s neighbors.”
“Statements that Russia is trying to reinstate some sort of empire, that it is encroaching on the sovereignty of its neighbors, are groundless,” Putin, an ex-KGB spy, said.
Putin has stepped up anti-European and anti-US rhetoric in recent months amid the crisis in Ukraine, where Russian backed rebels have taken over areas in the eastern part of the country and the annexation of Crimea in March.
“The exceptionalism of the United States, the way they implement their leadership, is it really a benefit? And their worldwide intervention brings peace and stability, progress and peak of democracy? Maybe we should relax and enjoy this splendour? No!” he added, according to the Guardian.
The paper reported that when a British reported asked him about Russian army troops operating in eastern Ukraine, he ignored the question entirely.
“We don’t see a desire from our partners in Kiev… to solve the problem of relations with the south-east of the country through a political process, with talks,” he said. “We always see one and the same thing in different manifestations: to suppress by force.”
Meanwhile, several Russian spy planes were intercepted by NATO aircraft this week over the Baltic Sea, according to reports.
“Once identification was successful, the intercept mission was completed and the two Hornets returned to their base,” reads a NATO statement on the mission.
Estonia summoned its Russian ambassador on Wednesday after it said an Ilyushin-20 plane was in its airspace for about one minute, the BBC reported.
Russia said the plane was doing a training mission and didn’t violate Estonia’s airspace.
The Latvian military wrote that NATO F-16 jets were sent to intercept the Ilyushin-20 aircraft along with another one earlier in the day.