Putin says the West is the one threatening Ukraine war

Putin

Putin MIKHAIL METZEL/SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin gave a marathon news conference Thursday in which he said the West, not Russia, was stoking the threat of war on the Ukraine border, The Washington Post reports.

Putin said the West’s talk of “war, war, war” could indicate that Kyiv is the one preparing to attack in Russia-backed separatist territories in eastern Ukraine. Putin also said in the annual news conference that Kyiv’s turn toward the West represents a security threat to Russia.

Moscow has sent 100,000 troops to its border with Ukraine, but Putin said he would prefer to settle tensions diplomatically. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the United States also sees diplomacy as the “best path,” and rejected Putin’s claim the West was threatening Moscow, saying NATO is a “defensive alliance.”

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