Putin: ‘That blitzkrieg on which our foes were counting did not work’

Presidents of Russia and Belarus Vladimir Putin and Alexander Lukashenko held talks after a visit to the Vostochny Cosmodrome. The two neighbouring states’ leaders’ talk lasted for three hours, after that, they met with journalists. The politicians’ speech could not help but touch on the main topic of the last few weeks — Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine. Realnoe Vremya has the key moments from Putin and Lukashenko’s speeches.

Putin: “Ukraine for the West is a tool to achieve the goals”

Again, Putin has expressed himself regarding Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine. The head of the state announced it on early 24 February morning. As the president of Russia has assured the journalists, he informed his colleague — Alexander Lukashenko — about the course of the special operation and the talks between Moscow and Kyiv.

“What’s going on in Ukraine is a tragedy, but as Mr Alexander Lukashenko has correctly said: there was no choice. There was simply no choice. It was just a matter of time when it would begin. That’s it,” the head of state pronounced.

According to him, the special operation in Ukraine is going according to plan. Nowadays Russia has the task of achieving all the goals set minimising losses. The special operation will continue until the very end and when the goals set at the very beginning are achieved, has claimed Putin.

“The endgame of the special operation depends on the intensity of military actions, we will go according to plan,” has indicated the head of the state.

Once again, Putin has stressed that the West is pursuing its own goals. The president considers Ukraine, Belarus and Russia are one people.

“Ukraine for the West is a tool to achieve the goals that have nothing in common with the interests of the Ukrainian people,” thinks Putin

As the head of the state has said he is staying tuned for the discussions over the special operation held both in Russia and abroad. He has asked to objectively cover the events adding that Russia has nothing to hide.

“Of course, I am carefully following the discussions held in our society, abroad. We shouldn’t close and hide anything from society but should cover this military work objectively,” Putin has urged the audience.

The president has also paid attention to the US’s assistance to Ukraine. In Putin’s opinion, Americans are ready to fight “until the last Ukrainian.”

“It became possible to start a direct dialogue with the Ukrainian side mainly thanks to President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko’s personal efforts”

Of course, Putin has mentioned Belarus’s contribution to the interaction between Moscow and Kyiv. The first three face-to-face rounds of talks between Russian and Ukrainian delegations took place on its territory after the beginning of the special operation.

“I would like to express my gratitude to our Belarusian colleagues for the good organisation of several rounds of talks on their territory. It became possible to start a direct dialogue with the Ukrainian side mainly thanks to President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko’s personal efforts. We think the Belarusian site suits for further contact too,” has said the president of Russia.

In continuation of the topic of the Russian-Ukrainian talks, Putin has said that Kyiv has withdrawn from the agreements reached during the talks in Istanbul and returned to a deadlock. The delegations’ meeting was in Turkey on 29 March.

“The Russian economy, the financial system have turned out to be on their feet”

Putin has noted that Russia and Belarus are bound together, including in industrial cooperation. From his point of view, it is important to strengthen the integration of the two countries in the conditions when the West has started a total sanction war against them.

“We will continue to jointly resist any attempts to slow down the development of our countries or artificially isolate them from the global economy," Putin said. In his opinion, all the efforts made by the West to isolate Russia and Belarus are absolutely useless, “this trick against us will certainly not work out” — no one from the outside will be able to close “all doors and all windows” for Russia.

The president of Russia drew attention to that Moscow and Minsk will continue to cooperate on the formation of a single defence space and ensuring the security of the Union state. In particular, at today's talks, Putin and Lukashenko clarified the plans for joint exercises.

The Russian leader believes that the country's economy is coping with the sanctions oppression from the West. In his opinion, the plans of Europe and the United States to break Russia with their help have already failed.

“That blitzkrieg on which our foes were counting did not work! Our financial system and industry work steadily. As you know, the Central Bank has decided to reduce the key rate. The Russian economy, the financial system have turned out to be on their feet," Putin stated.

The president of Russia expects that “the trend towards maintaining macroeconomic indicators, calm, steady, professional work of the economic bloc, will make itself felt in the near future”. Besides, he hopes that common sense will prevail in the West.

Moscow and Minsk say goodbye to sanctions

Lukashenko, in his turn, thanked Putin for the reception and, keeping up with his colleague, spoke about the Russian special operation in Ukraine. He said that Belarus would not allow anyone to shoot Russians in the back.

“You can count on Belarusians. You should know that in any situation that develops, you are convinced of it, and the Russians should be convinced, we will always be there, no matter how the situation develops," Lukashenko assured.

The Belarusian leader paid special attention to the provocations in the Ukrainian city of Bucha — Russia was accused of allegedly killing civilians. However, the Russian Defenсe Ministry promptly denied this information.

“If someone is itching to shout that they got into the wrong place, they started it the wrong time, then please put this hubbub on the scales and what you could get if you were at least half a month or a month late. That says it all. It's like in Bucha <...> Today we have discussed in detail this psychological special operation that the British conducted. If someone needs addresses, passwords, turnouts, identification numbers of cars, their brands, on which they came to Bucha, and how they did it, the FSB of Russia can present these materials," Lukashenko said.

Putin, in his turn, added that the president of Belarus had given him documents concerning the provocation in Bucha. He called what happened in the Ukrainian city a fake.

Like Putin, Lukashenko is confident that Western sanctions will not have a serious impact on Russia and Ukraine — “they will not mislead us”. According to him, Moscow and Kyiv have “found a common language” and will work in all directions.

“We say to them [sanctions] goodbye, as people say — 'dosvidos'. We will build our lives ourselves. And we will be able to," RIA Novosti quotes Lukashenko.

According to the Belarusian leader, confrontation with the West could not be avoided — sooner or later it would have happened. He called the modern world a “brutal struggle” and a “clash of civilizational scale”.

“This critical, most dangerous situation in which we have found ourselves did not arise out of nowhere. Both Washington and Brussels have been systematically moving towards such a denouement for years. Today it is absolutely obvious that the collision, alas, could not be avoided, moreover, it was just a matter of time and place," Lukashenko stated.
Tatyana Demina