April 1, 2023

Brighton Journal

Complete News World

Putin vows to pressure Ukraine to attack; Courts of India and China

Putin vows to pressure Ukraine to attack;  Courts of India and China

SAMARKAND, Uzbekistan (AP) – Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday vowed to press his offensive on Ukraine despite Ukraine’s recent counter-offensive and warned that Moscow could step up strikes on the country’s critical infrastructure if Ukrainian forces target facilities in Russia.

Speaking to reporters on Friday after attending the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Uzbekistan, Putin said that the “liberation” of the entire eastern Donbass region remained Russia’s main military objective and he did not see the need to review it.

“We are not in a hurry,” the Russian president said, adding that Russia has only deployed volunteer soldiers to fight in Ukraine.

Russia was forced to withdraw its forces from large areas of northeastern Ukraine last week after a swift counterattack by Ukraine. Ukraine’s move to retake many Russian-occupied cities and villages represents the biggest military setback for Moscow since its forces were forced to withdraw from areas near the capital early in the war.

Asked about the Ukrainian counter-offensive, Putin replied: “Let’s see how it develops and how it ends.”

He noted that Ukraine tried to hit Russia’s civilian infrastructure and “we have responded so far with restraint, but so far.”

“If the situation develops in this way, our response will be more serious,” Putin said.

“Only recently, the Russian armed forces have carried out a few impressive strikes.” He said in an apparent reference to Russian attacks earlier this week on power plants in northern Ukraine and a dam in the south. “Let’s consider these warning strikes.”

He claimed, without providing details, that Ukraine tried to launch attacks “near our nuclear facilities, nuclear power plants,” adding, “We will respond if they fail to understand that such methods are unacceptable.”

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Putin also sought on Friday to allay India’s concerns about the conflict in Ukraine, telling Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi that Moscow wanted to see a quick end to the fighting and claiming that Ukrainian officials would not negotiate.

“I know your position on the conflict in Ukraine and the concerns you have repeatedly expressed,” the Russian president told Modi. “We will do everything in our power to end this as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, the other side, the leadership of Ukraine, refused the negotiation process and stated that it wanted to achieve its goals by military means on the battlefield.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that it is Russia that allegedly does not want to negotiate seriously. He also insisted on the withdrawal of Russian forces from occupied areas of Ukraine as a precondition for the talks.

Putin’s comments during talks with Modi echoed comments the Russian leader made during Thursday’s meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping when Putin thanked him for his government’s “balanced position” on the Ukraine war, while adding that he was ready to discuss China’s unspecified “concerns”. about Ukraine.

Speaking to reporters on Friday, Putin and Xi “discussed what we should do in the current circumstances to efficiently confront illegal restrictions” imposed by the West. The European Union, the United States and other Western countries have imposed sanctions on Russian energy due to the war in Ukraine.

In a statement issued by his government, Xi expressed support for Russia’s “core interests”, but also expressed interest in working together to “inject stability” into global affairs. China’s relations with Washington, Europe, Japan and India have been strained by disagreements over technology, security, human rights, and land.

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The reference to stability is “mainly related to Sino-US relations,” said Zhang Lihua, an international relations expert at Tsinghua University, adding that “the United States is using all means to suppress China, which has forced China to seek cooperation with Russia.”

China and India refused to join Western sanctions against Russia over its war in Ukraine as they increased their purchases of Russian oil and gas, helping Moscow offset financial constraints imposed by the United States and its allies.

On Friday, Putin also met Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to discuss boosting economic cooperation and regional issues, including the July agreement brokered by Turkey and the United Nations that allowed the resumption of Ukrainian grain exports from the country’s Black Sea ports.

Speaking at the Uzbekistan summit on Friday, Xi warned his Central Asian neighbors not to allow foreigners to destabilize them. The warning reflects Beijing’s concern that Western support for democracy and human rights activists is a plot to undermine the ruling Communist Party under Xi and other authoritarian governments.

“We must prevent outside forces from instigating a color revolution,” Xi said in a speech to leaders of Shanghai Cooperation Organization member states, referring to protests that toppled unpopular regimes in the former Soviet Union and the Middle East.

Xi offered to train 2,000 police officers, to set up a regional counter-terrorism training center and “strengthen law enforcement capacity building.” He did not go into details.

His comments echoed old Russian grievances about the colorful democratic uprisings in many former Soviet countries that the Kremlin saw as instigated by the United States and its allies.

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Xi is promoting the “Global Security Initiative” announced in April after the United States, Japan, Australia and India formed the Quartet in response to Beijing’s more assertive foreign policy. US officials complain that it reflects Russian arguments in support of Moscow’s actions in Ukraine.

Central Asia is part of China’s multibillion-dollar Belt and Road initiative to expand trade by building ports, railways and other infrastructure across an arc of dozens of countries from the South Pacific through Asia to the Middle East, Europe and Africa.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization was formed by Russia and China as a counterweight to American influence. The group also includes India, Pakistan and four former Soviet Central Asian states: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Iran is on its way to obtaining full membership.