Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke publicly for the first time in weeks concerning tensions with Ukraine and accused the U.S. of ignoring his country’s “fundamental … concerns” regarding security.
Putin spoke during a joint news conference following his meeting with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. He addressed the United States’ written response to Russia’s security demands, telling reporters that it’s still under consideration however, there’s evidence that their demands have been “ignored.”
“It’s already clear now … that fundamental Russian concerns were ignored,” Putin said.
Specifically, Putin said the U.S. and NATO ignored his country’s demands for promises assuring that weapons would not be deployed near its borders and that forces will be removed from Eastern Europe.
The U.S. sent its written response on Jan. 26, and while Security of State Antony Blinken would not go into specific details about its contents, he indicated that at least some of Russia’s demands would not be met.
Russia has pushed to formally ban the expansion of NATO as well as permanently excluding Ukraine, however, Blinken told reporters last week that the U.S. “will uphold the principle of NATO’s open door.”
Putin referenced the demand during his remarks on Tuesday, saying that it had been ignored by the U.S.
Putin’s comments come amid a disagreement surrounding reports that Russian officials had responded to the U.S. proposal. Three Biden administration officials said Monday that a written response from Russia had been delivered, but Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko declared it was “not true.”