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Vladimir Putin has said that the West negates the right of the people to self-determination in Crimea, while referring to it in the case of Kosovo.
The Russian president spoke for Bloomberg when he said that “nothing can be done against the will of the people,” but that “it seems that some of our partners fail to understand this.”
“Thinking of Crimea, they choose not to notice that the will of the Crimean people, 70 percent of which are ethnic Russians and the rest speak Russian as their native language, was to join Russia. They prefer to ignore this. In one place, in Kosovo, the will of the people can be honored, but here – it cannot. All of this is about political games,” Putin has been quoted as saying.
Asked whether “the root of the West’s distrust” is the idea that Putin “wants to expand Russia’s zone of influences, in some case geographically, but also the very least to control the countries on Russia’s border,” he replied that Russia “wants to have stronger and more tangible influence, but we want it to be absolutely peaceful and positive.”
“I believe that all sensible people who are involved in real politics understand that references to threats posed by Russia to, let us say, the Baltic States are absolute non-sense. Do you think we are going to start a war with NATO? How many people are there in the NATO countries? About 600 million, right? Russia’s population is 146 million. Yes, we are the largest nuclear power. But do you really think we are going to use nuclear weapons to take over the Baltics? Nonsense,” Putin said.