In his annual state of the nation address today, Russian President Vladimir Putin criticized the West for what he called a new “policy of containment”. CCTV America’s Tom Barton reported this story from Moscow.
Putin blamed the West’s sanctions on Russia and “speculators” for falling oil prices in Russia and the ruble currency’s loss of a third of its value against the dollar this year. He also said the West was so determined to destroy Russia that sanctions would have been imposed even without the Ukraine crisis.
Putin criticizes West in his state of the nation addressIn his annual state of the nation address today, Russian President Vladimir Putin criticized the West for what he called a new "policy of containment". CCTV America's Tom Barton reported this story from Moscow.
“Even if all of it did not take place, they would come up with another reason to contain Russia’s growing capabilities, to influence it or, even better, use it for its own goals,” the president said.
The speech came just days after the government warned that Russia would fall into a recession in 2015.
Putin tried to justify Russia’s annexation of Crimea in March, which Kiev and western governments have repeatedly condemned, by calling Ukraine’s previous pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych’s flight from power in February a “coup”.
He also said the West was trying to destroy Russia the same way it tried to destroy Yugoslavia in the 1990s.
“The support of separatism in Russia from abroad, including the informational, political and financial, through intelligence services, was absolutely obvious,” Putin said. “There is no doubt that they would have loved to see the Yugoslavia scenario of collapse and dismemberment for us with all the tragic consequences it would have for the peoples of Russia.”
Just a few hours before his speech, the bloodiest fighting in months broke out in Chechnya. Battles between security forces and militants in Chechnya’s capital Grozny set buildings ablaze. Explosions and gunfire were seen across the city center. During his speech Putin barely mentioned the attack, instead focusing on East-West confrontation and sanctions.
William Courtney, Alexander Nekrassov discuss Putin’s critique of the West
CCTV America interviewed William Courtney, a former U.S. Ambassador to Georgia and Kazakstan and now at the RAND Corporation, and Alexander Nekrassov, a former adviser to the Kremlin, about Putin’s remarks.