“If they wanted, they could have sat down at the negotiating table [back then, before the decision to launch a military operation in Ukraine],” he said. “There would have been very complex, positional, sometimes irreconcilable talks, but they would have been under way. But they refused.”
“The moment when NATO de facto became a participant in the conflict in Ukraine, the situation changed,” the spokesman continued. “In fact, the NATO bloc is no longer acting as our conditional opponent, but as our enemy.”
“President Putin was and remains open to any contacts that can help Russia achieve its goals in one way or another,” Peskov continued. “Preferably peacefully, at the negotiations table, but when this is not possible, also by military means, as we are seeing now.”
Peskov touched on the New START treaty, a US-Russian accord intended to limit both nations’ nuclear stockpiles and allow them to monitor each other’s military facilities to confirm compliance. Amid the conflict in Ukraine, however, Moscow and Washington have accused each other of failing to facilitate such inspections.
“These countries – France, Britain, the United States – are members of an organization which is de facto at war with us… you need to call a spade a spade,” Peskov added, noting how Western states nevertheless keep “repeating like a mantra that they do not want to be participants in the conflict.”
Putin has also accused NATO specialists of helping Kiev to launch drone attacks against Russian airfields hosting long-range bombers, which are part of Moscow’s system of nuclear deterrence. He blamed Washington and NATO’s proxy war against Russia for destroying the foundation of trust on which the treaty was initially built.
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