US uses cluster munitions through Ukrainian proxy: Putin
Russian President Vladimir Putin says the US attempts to resolve any challenges it faces through force, threats, or economic embargoes.
Russian President Vladimir Putin pointed out that while the United States often considers the use of cluster munitions a crime, it uses these weapons in Ukraine by using Kiev forces as a proxy.
"It is the United States who uses cluster munitions. In this case, they just do it with the hands of the Ukrainian Army. And so this side (the US) thinks that it is a crime, but allows itself to perpetrate it," Putin said during a meeting with his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko in Sochi.
He continued, "This is the main problem in international relations. And this is why the majority of the participants of the international communication [process] strive together with us to create the multipolar world."
The Russian leader indicated that the US attempts to resolve any challenges it faces through force, threats, or economic embargoes.
Putin affirmed that his country does not pose a threat to any side, adding that US officials themselves admit that the real threat comes from the White House.
"A few years ago, a former US secretary of defense – Mr. Gates, I believe – said that the biggest threat to the United States comes from the territory where the Capitol is located, I believe, or the White House," he said.
Touching on the chances of negotiations with Ukraine, Putin stated that Moscow has never refused to negotiate with Kiev, but the latter has yet to indicate a desire to sit for talks.
"I’ve said before, we have never refused to negotiate, so please, if the other side wants it, it must speak about it directly," the Russian President made it clear, adding that Moscow currently hears nothing from the other side regarding the matter.
In a related context, Putin revealed that Russia has documented the presence of foreign instructors on the battlefield in the special military operation zone, noting that some of them have been detained.
"We detect foreign mercenaries and foreign instructors both on the battlefield and in the units where training is carried out. I think that, yesterday and the day before yesterday someone was captured once again," he told reporters.
The Russian leader highlighted that over 300,000 volunteers have already signed up to participate in the Ukraine war.
"I said a couple of days ago that our men, our soldiers, had already signed contracts with the Russian armed forces, 270,000, but this was already outdated data. This morning they reported about 300,000 signed contracts by people who, I want to emphasize, are ready to sacrifice their lives in the interests of their homeland, defending the interests of Russia," he said.
Putin denied allegations that volunteers from the DPRK signed up to participate in the Ukraine war, stressing that Russia is not in need of foreigners to fight its battles.
"I would like to say that this is complete nonsense," he said.
Regarding Moscow's ties with Pyongyang, the Russian President said that his country will continue to develop relations with the DPRK within the framework of international law.
Putin briefed Lukashenko on his talks with DPRK leader Kim Jong Un held a couple of days ago at the Vostochny Spaceport in Russia’s Far Eastern Amur Region.
On his part, the Belarusian President said that Minsk, Moscow, and Pyongyang should consider a "three-way cooperation".