Russian President Vladimir Putin It hosted a meeting of the Russian-led military coalition, the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), on Monday on its 30th anniversary — but the meeting It was anything but ceremonial.
Instead, heads of state from Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, which make up the NATO-like collective defense organization, went to the Kremlin on Monday in Moscow to lament the world’s response. Putin’s war in Ukraine.
Belarusian President Alexander LukashenkoSitting in a huge room with sweeping high ceilings and ornate walls covered in gold, he bemoans “hellish” sanctions from the West and efforts to isolate Russia and Belarus — which have been supporting Putin’s military moves in Ukraine — from the rest of the world.
“Belarus and Russia … are subject to defamation and exclusion from international organizations on the whim of the West,” Lukashenko said.
at joint statementThe CSTO also stated that it is concerned about the CSTO’s “external borders,” noting that it maintains “a willingness to ensure border security.”
But Lukashenko complained that members of the alliance did not stand behind Russia as much as they should, especially as Russia works to tackle NATO expansion, a common argument that Russian officials and allies have used to justify the war in Ukraine. In a possible reference to Finland and Sweden expressing their interest in joining NATO, Lukashenko called for more support as NATO threats persist, from “NATO’s rumble near our western borders to a large-scale hybrid war waged against us,” according to Interfax.
“Russia should not fight alone against NATO expansion,” he said.
Putin himself complained about the “increased fear of Russia in the so-called civilized and politically correct Western countries”, and promised the expansion of NATO “certainly will provoke a reaction on our part. We will see how it will be on the basis of the threats that are created for us.”
Putin also called on his counterparts to do more for Russia in the future, citing what he claimed was “documented evidence” found during the invasion in Ukraine, which he said showed that “biological weapons components were allegedly developed very close to our borders.”
To respond to those alleged biological weapons threats — threats that Putin has said Russia has faced for some time — Putin rallied members of the CSTO during the meeting to agree to demonstrate their combined military strength by holding joint CSTO exercises this fall in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan .
“Efforts to maintain biosecurity also require the most serious attention,” he said.
Putin also appeared to pressure his counterparts to back up his false justification for conducting a “special” military operation in Ukraine – to discredit the country.
“I would like to highlight our priority task of joint defense of the memory of victory in the Great Patriotic War, an achievement of our peoples who saved the world from Nazism at the cost of enormous irreparable sacrifices, and to counter any attempts to whitewash the Nazis, their accomplices and their modern followers,” Putin said. Noting that he believed that Ukrainians glorified the Nazis at the state level.
After the summit, the group noted in a statement that other countries had criticized Russia’s false claim that it invaded Ukraine in an attempt to discredit the country, insisting that this was indeed the goal of the war, not just a false claim of invasion.
“We strongly condemn any attempts to falsify historical events related to our joint contribution to countering Nazi aggression,” the CSTO said in a statement. “We express our grave concern regarding attempts to ban symbols associated with the victory over Nazism.”
Putin’s pity party comes as Russia’s war in Ukraine enters its 82nd day, with no end in sight. US Defense Intelligence Agency In the past week, the war, which has moved to eastern Ukraine, has almost reached a “stalemate”.
Putin’s army continues to falter in Ukraine. The Ukrainian Armed Forces General Staff said in an analysis on Monday that Russian forces had lost 27,700 soldiers as of Monday.
But even though the fighting has reached a protracted state, the Biden administration remains focused on providing security assistance to Ukraine to help thwart Russian attacks. The administration has already provided $300 million in security assistance to Ukraine just this fiscal year, with more expected soon.
Putin’s unfortunate party to the Collective Security Treaty Organization lamented the West’s military aid to Ukraine, which the US Department of Defense assessed helped Ukrainians resist Russian advances in the war.
“So far, in the West, including in Washington, we see only a desire to prolong the conflict as much as possible,” Lukashenko said, referring to military assistance. The goals are clear: to weaken Russia as much as possible.
However, aid is set to continue to flow. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken They discussed other weapons and security assistance during this weekend’s meeting in Berlin with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba. Later this week, the Senate is expected to vote on $40 billion in aid to Ukraine, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said Saturday.
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