President Vladimir Putin has accused the West of ignoring Russia’s interests in Ukraine, in particular by leaving open the possibility that Ukraine could one day join NATO.
Russia has serious concerns that the new government in Kiev could take Ukraine into the Western military alliance. Putin earlier said that the decision to annex Crimea was driven in part by the need to prevent NATO ships from ever being based on the Black Sea peninsula.
Putin told senior representatives of major international news agencies, including The Associated Press, on Saturday that the West has never had a substantive discussion with Russia on this.
He said: “We hear only one answer, as if on a record: Every nation has a right to determine its own fate and it doesn’t concern you.”
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.