In a column for a German magazine, the Russian president accuses Washington of fabricating Yanukovych’s removal.
Russian President Vladimir Putin says the 2014 popular uprising that forced former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych to be forced into office was the result of a “coup” orchestrated by the United States and backed by allies Europeans in Washington when he called for greater cooperation on the continent.
Writing a publication in the German newspaper Die Zeit on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the German invasion of the Soviet Union during World War II, Putin on Tuesday described the overthrow of Yanukovych as an “unconstitutional armed coup.”
Moscow has long accused the United States of fomenting turmoil in Ukraine, where tensions with neighboring Russia have grown since Yanukovych, a pro-Kremlin leader, was ousted.
Following its departure in February 2014, Russia annexed the Crimean region to the Black Sea and gave its support to separatist fighters as an armed conflict erupted in eastern Ukraine.
The post-Cold War dynamic, which left countries facing an “artificial choice” between betting on the West or Russia, shaped the “Ukrainian tragedy,” Putin wrote.
“Why did the United States organize a coup and why did the countries of Europe give it weakness, causing a split in Ukraine and the withdrawal of Crimea?” He said.
“The whole European security system has now deteriorated severely. Tensions are rising and the risks of a new arms race are becoming real. “
Putin’s comments follow his expectations Geneva Summit with U.S. counterpart Joe Biden last week, during which the couple pledged to try to lay the groundwork for future arms control agreements and return their respective ambassadors to their posts.
Prior to the talks, both sides had said that great strides in relations between Russia and the West were unlikely at post-Cold War lows.
Putin looks at “comprehensive partnership with Europe”
The Russian leader was quick to praise Biden after the meeting, praising the professionalism of the President of the United States.
But the Kremlin warned that there were still important points of disagreement between Moscow and Washington, especially over Ukraine and the role of NATO, the transatlantic security alliance that Biden has strongly recommended to the United States on European affairs.
In his view, Putin said that Russia and the European powers “were missing out on the enormous opportunities that cooperation offers us” because of their icy relations.
“Is it like that [cooperation] it is so important now, when we are all facing common challenges: the pandemic and its serious socio-economic consequences, “he wrote in the piece, which was also published in the Kremlin website.
“The whole post-war history of Greater Europe confirms that the prosperity and security of our common continent are only possible through the joint efforts of all countries, including Russia,” Putin added, citing the “inseparable cultural and historical connection.” of his nation with Europe “. ”
“I repeat again: Russia advocates the restoration of a comprehensive partnership with Europe.”
The Russian leader said Moscow and other European capitals could work together on a number of issues of mutual interest, including security, energy, technology and the environment.