Putin’s claims ‘absolutely delusional’, says Portuguese FM
Russian President Vladimir Putin had made absolutely delusional claims about the war in Ukraine in his speech on Tuesday when he announced Moscow’s suspension of the nuclear arms control agreement, Portuguese Foreign Minister João Gomes Cravinho said in an interview.
In an interview with Lusa on the first-year anniversary of Russia’s attack on Ukraine, Gomes Cravinho pointed to “a very big contrast” between the words of Putin and those of US President Joe Biden who had paid a surprise visit to Kyiv on Monday.
However, according to the Portuguese minister, there are times when a gesture, such as Biden’s visit, is worth much more than a long speech.
Speaking of Putin’s speech, Gomes Cravinho said there was “a long speech that, in fact, had nothing eloquent about it”.
“He unravels a set of allegations, some absolutely delusional, giving his version of the history of the war, which he does not call a war; he calls a special operation, finally for fear of telling the truth, and accuses the West in general of being responsible for the war, when there is only one responsible for this war which is himself,” said the head of the Portuguese diplomacy.
On Tuesday, Putin accused the West of wanting to impose on Russia a “strategic defeat” in Ukraine and end the country “once and for all”.
“The elites of the West do not hide their goal: to inflict a strategic defeat on Russia, that is, to finish us off once and for all,” Putin said in the State of the Nation speech.
In the same speech, Putin announced the suspension of Russian participation in the New START nuclear arms control treaty, increasing tension with Washington over the invasion of Ukraine.
Speaking in his State of the Nation address, Putin also said Russia should be ready to resume nuclear weapons testing if the United States did so, a move that would end the global ban on nuclear weapons testing, since the Cold War.
Explaining his decision to suspend Russia’s obligations under New START, Putin accused the US and its NATO allies of openly declaring the goal of Russia’s defeat in Ukraine. Gomes Cravinho agreed with the reactions of several North American, European and NATO leaders that repudiated the Russian leader’s words, commenting that “it is a dangerous and irresponsible attitude on the part of President Putin”.
However, the minister clarified that an important part of this agreement between Moscow and Washington is the mechanisms for verification on both sides, but this process had already been paralysed.
“In practice, there hasn’t been since the beginning of 2020 because of the pandemic [of Covid-19] initially, but at the end of last year, with the pandemic already dominated, the Russians refused meetings to schedule new verification processes” because “that is his [Putin’s] fear,” said Gomes Cravinho.
(Henrique Botequilha | Lusa.pt)