“It simply came to our notice then. What do you not understand there? “
At his annual press conference on national and international issues, Russian President Putin blamed NATO. He is again seeking evidence for Alexei Navalny’s “accused poison”.
R.US President Vladimir Putin has accused NATO of expanding massively to the east without taking his country’s security interests into account. Despite assurances that the Western military alliance will not pose a threat to Russian security, there has already been a “five-wave expansion,” Putin told his annual news conference in Moscow on Thursday. He particularly criticized the possibility of Ukraine joining NATO.
“Another NATO expansion in the east is unacceptable. What’s wrong with that?” The Kremlin leader asked. “We want to strengthen our security.”
Asked if he could guarantee that Russia would not invade Ukraine, Putin said his country would act in defiance of its security interests. At the same time, he campaigned again for his proposals to restrict security guarantees. “There should be no trick here.”
Russia last week handed over a draft agreement to NATO, the United States and their allies. In it, Moscow called for an end to NATO’s eastern expansion. The background is new tensions in the Ukraine conflict. Reports of alleged Russian preparations for the occupation of Ukraine have been causing international concern for weeks. Russia has denied such allegations and said it feels threatened by a NATO presence near its borders.
Putin seeks evidence of “accusation poisoning” by Navalny
For more than a year, Putin has demanded proof of a crime that has been criticized internationally for poisoning his opponent, Alexei Navalny. The West has not yet provided any evidence of “alleged poisoning” with chemical warfare agent Novichok. “None. Zero,” he said.
The Kremlin leader also supported the controversial crackdown on dissidents and so-called “foreign agents”. For many, invincible Russia is too big. “You can only distort it from the inside.” It must be prevented. Many NGOs and the media classify Russia as “foreign agents” and criticize them as a stigma. Putin stressed that Russia wants clarity on who receives money from abroad and who works for the interests of another country.
Navalny’s spokeswoman Kira Jormish, a spokesman for the jailed Kremlin, described Putin on Twitter as a “coward” and a “killer” for his attacks on members of the opposition.
Navalny, a Russian opponent who escaped a poisoning attack in August 2020, has been in prison since the beginning of the year. Navalny’s poisoning and subsequent arrest put further strain on the already tense relationship between Russia and Europe. Western nations allowed Russia into crime. Navalny has personally blamed Putin for the attack on her. The Kremlin denies this.
Torture of prisoners: Putin calls for punishment for those responsible
Putin, who has released numerous videos of torture in prisons, has demanded that those responsible be punished. “These are crimes that need to be solved to the end,” he said. A sentence is inevitable. So far 17 cases have been started. Whether it is about prisoners who have committed a crime or about prisoners who are suspected, one should “treat them with humanity”.
Videos of torture from a prison hospital in the city of Saratov and elsewhere caused widespread outrage. For this reason, Putin fired the head of the National Penal Code a month ago. This measure was considered to confirm the reliability of the records. Scenes of men being severely abused, including being raped with objects, were shown.
Leading evaluator and former presidential candidate Xenia Sobchak spoke to Putin about the “illegality” of Russian prisons and what the government is doing to protect prisoners. In Irkutsk alone, 300 people were mistreated at a detention center. This is a problem in the system.
The head of the Kremlin responded that every country has similar problems. He cited France and the United States as examples. The Russian parliament recently passed a law giving harsher sentences to prison guards who brutally assault prisoners.
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