Putin: Western tanks burn better than Soviet-made ones
During a broadcast address, the Russian President highlights the effectiveness of Russian strategies in containing the surge of Western weapons into Ukraine, as well as Russia's stance on the grain deal.
Ukraine's possible accession into NATO will have a counter effect for Kiev as it will pose another security threat for Russia and will not further security for Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday.
"As for Ukraine's membership in NATO, we have repeatedly spoken about this, this creates threats to Russia's security. Obviously. And as a matter of fact, the reason for the special military operation, one of the reasons, is the threat of Ukraine's entry into NATO. I am sure that this will not increase the security of Ukraine itself," The Russian President said in a broadcast message on Rossiya 24.
He also addressed the continued supply of Western missiles and tanks to Ukraine which he asserts pose no critical threat in the combat zone. The President said that the weapon has caused damage to Russian assets, however, the hopes placed upon them to pivot the balance of power toward NATO-backed Ukraine did not materialize. He focused on long-range cruise missiles provided by Western powers to Kiev which were expected to expand the scope of engagement, but Russian air defenses and intelligence have proved their exceptional capabilities in deterring the threat.
"As for the supply of weapons, various weapons, we see how many hopes were placed on the supply of missiles with a sufficiently long range. Well, yes, they cause damage, but nothing critical happens in the combat zone with the use of missiles. The same goes for foreign-made tanks, infantry fighting vehicles,” Putin underlined.
"I can tell you that Ukrainian servicemen often refuse to even get into these tanks because they are a priority target for our guys," Putin underlined, adding that foreign tanks "burn better" than the Soviet-made ones.
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Ukrainian security should not threaten others
Putin warned against further weapon supplies to Kiev saying that "the supply of new weapons will not do anything, it will only aggravate the situation. Moreover, it will aggravate [the situation] for the Ukrainian side. And will continue to incite conflict."
He said that Russia does not oppose discussing Ukraine's security guarantees, saying that "We have said many times that any country has the right to ensure its security. And of course, it has the right to choose the way to achieve this goal, which it considers the most correct for itself. There is only one limitation. It is connected with the fact that achieving the security of one country should not create a threat to another country."
Putin on grain deal
The Russian President added that Moscow is considering suspending its participation in the Black Sea Grain Initiative until its demands are met.
Putin said "nothing was done" for Russia within the framework of the grain deal, as the agreement benefited only the other side.
"We may suspend our participation in this deal. If everyone once again says that all the promises made to us will be fulfilled, well, let them fulfill this promise, and we will immediately join this deal, again," Putin underlined.
"I know that the secretary general and the UN staff who are dealing with this problem are sincerely striving to fulfill the relevant conditions, including in relation to Russia, I have no doubts about this. But they have no success. Because Western countries are not going to keep their promises."
Putin said that Russia will extend the deal only if Western countries stick to the promises they made.
Moreover, Moscow is objecting to the lack of fulfillment of several terms in the signed memorandum, including the reconnection of the Russian Agricultural Bank to SWIFT and the resumption of fertilizer transit through the Tolyatti-Odesa ammonia pipeline.
According to the United Nations, more than 24.1 million tonnes of grain have been exported under the agreement until March. But the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) revealed in October 2022 that only a quarter of the grain exported under the BSGI is going to low-income countries.
Most of the grain leaving Ukraine's ports is heading to the European Union instead of developing countries, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in September 2022, as the world's poorest nations bear the brunt of the food crisis most.
Putin has since offered to deliver to poor African countries Russian grain free of charge.