West using sanctions to undermine Russia, says Prez Putin
Moscow (Dec. 04, 2014): President Vladimir Putin Thursday accused the West of exploiting the Ukraine crisis to undermine Russia and said in a key speech that Crimea had “sacred” significance for Russia.
Addressing hundreds of dignitaries, lawmakers and officials in his annual state of the nation address at the Kremlin, Putin said Russia would not sever ties with the West despite raging confrontation with Brussels and Washington over the Ukraine conflict.
“Every time someone believes Russia has become too strong, independent, these instruments get applied immediately,” Putin said, referring to sanctions.
The West “would have thought up some other excuse to contain Russia’s growing possibilities”, failing the current tension over Crimea and Ukraine, Putin said.
But the Russian strongman dismissed Russia’s mounting economic troubles as the economy slides into recession under the pressure of Western sanctions and falling oil prices.
Putin stated that Russia is ready to take upon any challenge and win. He further stated that Crimea, which Moscow seized from Ukraine in March, had a “sacred” significance for Russia, comparing it to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.