Russian President Vladimir Putin voiced concerns on what he called ‘anti-Russia’ project, as he elaborated on the relation between Russian and Ukrainian people.
In an interview with the Rossiya 24 broadcaster late Tuesday, Putin voiced particular concern in regard to what he said was the beginning of “active work on the ‘anti-Russia’ project”.
“In addition, why did I step up this work right now, because conditions are emerging that are qualitatively changing in comparison with what was quite recently. Apparently, active work on the ‘anti-Russia’ project has begun, which, of course, cannot but cause our concern,” Putin said.
Last week, Putin has written an extensive article pondering the historical unity of Russians and Ukrainians. The Ukrainian president, however, did not appear to share the sentiment and rejected Putin’s belief that Ukrainians and Russians are “brotherly” people.
Elaborating on the concept of the Western ‘anti-Russia’ project, the president said it dates back to the 17th and 18th centuries, with a goal to weaken the country.
“It began in the 17th-18th centuries, then was used by the Polish national movement, before World War I it was used by Austria-Hungary. The goal is simple, I write there — divide and rule. The First World War had a simple goal for Russia’s potential adversaries: simply to weaken the country,” he said.
The Russian president outlined that every country has the right to choose its own path, but such choices should not pose a security threat.
“Yes, of course, any country has the right to choose its own path. This is not disputed. You know, just like any person: he is free. There is such a well-known formula: the freedom of each person is limited by the freedom of other people. If it conflicts with the freedom of another person, then you need to think about some kind of restrictions, self-restraints. The same applies to states,” Putin said.