NATO summit: Putin accuses military alliance of “imperial ambitions”.

The Russian President Wladimir Putin has accused NATO of “imperial ambitions”. The military alliance is trying to assert its “supremacy” through the Ukraine conflict, Putin told journalists in the Turkmen capital of Ashkhabad on Wednesday. “Ukraine and the well-being of the Ukrainian people are not the goal of the collective West and NATO, but a means of defending their own interests.”

Russia has “no problem” with the planned NATO accession of Finland and Sweden, said Putin. “We don’t have problems with Sweden and Finland like we have with Ukraine.” There are no “territorial differences” between the two countries, said the Kremlin boss. “There is nothing that would worry us about Finland and Sweden joining NATO. If you want, please.”

Prepare for a reaction

In the event of a threat to Russia, however, the countries would have to prepare for a reaction. “They need to get a clear picture of the fact that there were no threats to them before – but if troops are stationed there and infrastructure is put in place, we will have to respond in a mirrored manner and create the same threats on the territory from which we are being threatened,” Putin was quoted as saying by the Tass news agency. “Everything was good between us, but now there will be some tension – that’s obvious, without a doubt, it can’t be done without.” The accession of Finland and Sweden was officially launched at the NATO summit on Wednesday.

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