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Putin Addresses NATO's Hysteria over a Russian Threat To ‘Invade’ Europe

During the three-plus hours that Russian President Vladimir Putin spent on June 5 with the heads of news agencies, on the sidelines of yesterday’s St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Agence France-Presse European editor Karim Talbi posed a question, suggesting that Putin was really for an imperialist Russia, because of the three Russian flags behind him. Putin pointed out that the flags were put up by the building’s owner. However, Putin elaborated on the three flags, of Tsar Alexander II’s empire, the Soviet period of victory over Nazism, and the modern Russian Federation, and then attacked the sloppy, unexamined view promulgated in the West as a dangerous one.

“There is no need to look for something that is not there, there is no need to look for some subtext, there is no need to look for some of our imperial ambitions—there are none. There are none because the world is changing quickly.… There is no need to invent anything out of nowhere that doesn’t exist.… But what happened has already passed, the page has been turned. We look to the future based on the realities of today. The flags you see are part of our history. There is no need to invent something and form an opinion about Russia based on these ideas, there is no need to form an image of an enemy from Russia—you are only harming yourself by doing this, you understand?

“Look, someone has imagined that Russia wants to attack NATO. Have you gone completely insane? Are you as thick as this table? Who came up with this nonsense, this bullshit? But this would be nonsense if it were not intended to fool its own population in order to say: ‘En garde! Russia will attack us soon! And we must urgently arm ourselves, urgently send weapons to Ukraine!’” the President explained. Apparently, Putin senses that some in the West haven’t been paying very close attention to his words.

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