Russia fooled on Minsk agreements: Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country was fooled by the West through the Minsk agreements signed back in 2014.
Russia was hoping for peace agreements back when it signed the Minsk agreements in 2014, but it was fooled, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday while addressing the situation in Ukraine.
"We all endured, endured, endured and hoped for some kind of peace agreement, but now it turns out that we were simply fooled," Putin told reporters.
"After the revelations of [ex-German Chancellor Angela] Merkel, [ex-Ukrainian President Petro] Poroshenko, and other politicians about the true goals of the Minsk agreements, it became obvious to everyone that Russia was not the source of the conflict in Ukraine," Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said just yesterday.
Merkel, who was in office from 2005 to 2021, said earlier in the month that the Minsk accords were signed to "give Ukraine time" to strengthen itself.
"The 2014 Minsk agreement was an attempt to give time to Ukraine. It also used this time to become stronger as can be seen today. The Ukraine of 2014-2015 is not modern Ukraine," Merkel said.
Merkel was the German chancellor when Ukraine's state coup happened in 2014, and the Minsk accords on resolving the Donbass war were signed with her contribution.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said the very next day that Merkel's confession might be used as evidence in a tribunal against Western leaders for provoking the war in Ukraine between Moscow and Kiev.
Russia to try ending conflict ASAP
"We will strive to ensure that this is completed, and the sooner the better, of course," Putin said in a briefing with the Kremlin pool.
His words came just a day after the Russian minister of defense underlined that it was the West, rather than his country, that was responsible for the status quo in Ukraine.
The 2014 Ukraine coup, funded by the West, which brought anti-Russian forces and parties to power, is the reason behind the current situation in Ukraine, Shoigu underlined.
"The reason is the coup d'etat in Kiev financed by the West in 2014, which brought anti-Russian forces to power and divided the fraternal peoples. This provoked an armed confrontation in Donbas," Shoigu said.
Nord stream terrorists clear
Putin also touched on the explosion that affected the Nord Stream pipeline in the Baltic sea, saying the pipeline had been blown up by those who were interested in supplying Russian gas to Europe only via Ukraine.
The Nord Stream gas pipelines were damaged by two explosions, each with the force of around 1,100 pounds (500 kilograms) of TNT, according to The Wall Street Journal, citing persons familiar with the case.
Russia's Nord Stream gas pipelines were struck in Danish waters near the island of Bornholm. The Swedish and Danish governments announced the discovery of two gas leaks caused by submarine explosions, with the general agreement being that the occurrence was the result of sabotage.
"Who is interested in supplying Russian gas to Europe only through Ukraine? That's the one who blew it up. No one is investigating," Putin stressed.
"This is a terrorist attack. It's obvious. Everyone recognized it. But, surprisingly, this is an act of international, I would say, state terrorism. Why? Because individuals, persons alone, without the support of state agencies, are unable to carry out such attacks. It is clear that this was done with the support of states," Putin said.
"In such cases, they usually say: 'Look who's interested,'" the president added.
Meanwhile, he said Russia once had the opportunity to look at the sites of the explosions, though the west did not carry out a full-fledged investigation.
"No one does. Surprisingly, but true," he concluded.
Russia to crack Patriots, too
Putin, speaking about deliveries of US weapons to Kiev, noted that Russia would be able to "crack the Patriots as well."
Earlier, Washington announced a massive new $1.85 billion military aid package to Ukraine that includes one battery of Patriot air defense systems requested by Kiev.
"Now they say they can put the 'Patriots' there. Well, let them put them, we will crack the Patriots as well," Putin told a press conference.
Biden said yesterday the US would continue sending aid to Kiev while increasing military support for the country, including in terms of air defense systems.
"We are going to continue to strengthen Ukraine's ability to defend itself, particularly air defense. That's why we're gonna be providing Ukraine with a Patriot missile battery and training Ukrainian forces to use it," Biden said.
The Pentagon announced on Wednesday that one Patriot air defense system, additional ammunition for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missiles (HARMs), among other military hardware, is included in the recently announced $1.85 billion US security assistance package for Ukraine.
According to the press release, the package also includes small guns, explosives, armored vehicles, mortar systems, and 500 precisely guided 155mm artillery rounds.