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Putin says Russia has no ‘imperial’ ambitions, does not plan to attack NATO

Putin urges restraint in call with Iran's Raisi
Image: Video screenshot

President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday told a meeting of foreign news outlets that Moscow harbours no “imperial ambitions” and dismissed as “bollocks” the idea that Russia could attack NATO.

“There is no need to look for some imperial ambitions of ours. There are none,” Putin said in answer to a question from AFP about the presence of Soviet and Russian imperial flags at the headquarters of Russian energy giant Gazprom where the meeting took place.

“There is no need to look for something that is not there,” he said, adding: “Don’t make up an image of Russia as an enemy. You will only harm yourselves.”

“They’ve come up with this idea that Russia wants to attack NATO. Have you lost your mind? Are you as thick as two short planks? Who made this up? It’s nonsense, it’s bollocks,” Putin told reporters.

Russia denied for months that it was preparing a military offensive in Ukraine before launching the assault on February 24, 2022, accusing Western powers of trying to use their Ukrainian ally to harm Russia.

Russia has also announced the annexation of five Ukrainian regions and several Russian officials, including Putin himself, have pointed out that these territories previously belonged to the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union.


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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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