Friday, May 24, 2024

Putin calls Biden claim that Russia may attack NATO ‘complete nonsense’

(Al Jazeera Media Network) The Russian president has dismissed the United States president’s claims that Moscow could attack a NATO country in the future as “complete nonsense”, saying such a conflict would run counter to his country’s interests.

Vladimir Putin made the statement in an interview with Russian state TV on Sunday, weeks after US President Joe Biden warned that if Putin achieved victory in Ukraine, he might be emboldened to attack a NATO ally, sparking a third world war.

“It is complete nonsense – and I think President Biden understands that,” Putin told state television channel Rossiya.

“Russia has no reason, no interest – no geopolitical interest, neither economic, political nor military – to fight with NATO countries.”

Putin added that Biden may be trying to stoke such fears to justify his “erroneous policy” in the region.

US-Russia relations have sunk to their lowest level in decades since Moscow invaded neighbouring Ukraine in February 2022.

Throughout the 22-month war, the US has provided Ukraine with $111 billion in weapons, equipment, and other aid, helping the Ukrainians fend off Russia’s advance and regain some territory.

Biden favours sending even more support to war-torn Ukraine, which is running short on supplies as it grinds to a bloody winter stalemate.

He has asked US Congress to approve $61.4 billion in support for Ukraine as part of a larger $110-billion package that includes more funds for Israel and other issues.

However, there is waning appetite in Congress for the lingering war. Some Republican lawmakers have blocked the aid package, demanding the White House first take action on border security.

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