clear
Monday May 4th, 2015 5:06AM

Putin: West ignores Russia's interests in Ukraine

By The Associated Press
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) -- President Vladimir Putin accused the West on Saturday of ignoring Russia's interests in Ukraine, in particular by leaving open the possibility that Ukraine could one day join NATO.

"Where is the guarantee that, after the forceful change of power, Ukraine will not tomorrow end up in NATO?" Putin told senior representatives of major international news agencies, including The Associated Press.

"We hear only one answer, as if on a record: Every nation has a right determine on its own the security system in which it wants to live, and that doesn't concern you," he said.

The meeting came one day before Ukraine holds a presidential election that the West hopes will be a step toward resolving the crisis. Pro-Russia armed separatists in the east of the country, however, have threatened to block the vote, which was called after the Russia-leaning president fled in February following months of street protests.

Russia has serious concerns that the new Western-leaning government in Kiev could take Ukraine into the U.S.-dominated military alliance. When Russia annexed Crimea in March, Putin said the decision was driven in part by the need to prevent NATO ships from ever being based on the Black Sea peninsula.

Putin said that he didn't believe a new Cold War had begun with the United States over Ukraine, but asserted that Russia had no intention of playing second fiddle to the West in global affairs.

"If the main bonus Russia gets is to sit in the room and listen to what other people are saying, then that is not a role Russia can agree to," Putin said. "We always take into account the interests of our partners ... but there are some lines that cannot be crossed, and Ukraine and Crimea were that line."

Putin on Friday had cheered investors at Russia's annual international economic forum by promising to respect the result of Sunday's election and work with Ukraine's new leader.

Following the televised portion of the meeting with the international journalists, Putin proposed over dinner that a mediator be named to find a compromise between the Kiev government and those fighting for independence in the east. Putin suggested that the role be taken by Viktor Medvedchuk, who supported the ousted Ukrainian government and was among those hit by U.S. sanctions over the Russian seizure of Crimea. He would likely be unacceptable to the new Kiev leadership.

Putin was also asked about Prince Charles' reported comment comparing the annexation of Crimea to Adolf Hitler's 1939 invasion of Poland. He said the comparison was "unacceptable" and "not royal behavior."

"I think he understands that himself," Putin said.

Late Saturday, the Kremlin said Putin held a three-way telephone conversation with the leaders of Germany and France in which they all expressed their desire to see a peaceful election in Ukraine.
© Copyright 2015 AccessNorthGa.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Judge denies motions to move, delay Tsarnaev trial
Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to overturn a judge's decision to not move his upcoming trial out of state.
10:02PM ( 4 months ago )
High court to adopt electronic filing of cases
The Supreme Court is belatedly developing an electronic filing system similar to those used in courts around the country, Chief Justice John Roberts said Wednesday in his annual end-of-year report.
7:57PM ( 4 months ago )
Storm brings snow, cold to West for New Year's
A blustery winter storm dumped snow and ice across the West on Wednesday, making driving treacherous in the mountains from California to the Rockies and forcing residents and party-goers in some usually sun-soaked cities to bundle up for a frosty New Year's.
5:19PM ( 4 months ago )
U.S. News
Grass fire impacts rush hour traffic on 985
Rush hour traffic on I-985 was slowed by a grass fire Wednesay afternoon with one lane closed while firefighters fought the blaze.
10:19PM ( 4 months ago )
Hall County conviction, sentencing to be reviewed by SCOGA
The State Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal of a Hall County man when they reconvene in January.
2:37PM ( 4 months ago )
Local/State News
Committee leaves transportation funding to lawmakers
Georgia will have to cover a $1 billion to $1.5 billion transportation funding gap to stay economically competitive, a committee of lawmakers is warning in a report issued Tuesday.
5:36AM ( 4 months ago )
US off war footing at year's end, but wars go on
Taking America off a permanent war footing is proving harder than President Barack Obama may have suggested.
6:13PM ( 4 months ago )
GOP leader regrets talk to white supremacists; party leaders rally around him
House Republican leaders rallied around one of their own, Whip Steve Scalise, on Tuesday after he said he regrets speaking 12 years ago to a white supremacist organization and condemns the views of such groups.
6:08PM ( 4 months ago )
Politics
Obama again avoids calling 1915 Armenian killings 'genocide'
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama will once again stop short of calling the 1915 massacre of Armenians a genocide, prompting anger and disappointment from those who have been pushing him to ful...
1:00PM ( 1 week ago )
Ex-NFL star Hernandez convicted of murder, sentenced to life
FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) — Former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison Wednesday for a deadly late-night shooting, sealing the d...
8:54PM ( 2 weeks ago )
Clinton kicks off 2016 campaign online, heads next to Iowa
WASHINGTON (AP) — Hillary Rodham Clinton jumped back into presidential politics on Sunday, making a much-awaited announcement she will again seek the White House with a promise to serve as the "champi...
7:56PM ( 3 weeks ago )
Hall, White, Jefferson schools recognized nationally for use of technology
Three school districts in northeast Georgia - Hall, White, and Jefferson - have received national recognition for their use use of innovative technologies. They earned top spots in the Center for Digital Education's and the National School Boards Association's 10th annual Digital School Districts Survey.
By Staff
1:00PM ( 3 weeks ago )
US Capitol lockdown lifted after man fatally shoots himself
WASHINGTON (AP) — A precautionary lockdown of the U.S. Capitol was lifted after about two hours Saturday following a suicide by a man carrying a protest sign.The man died after shooting himself on the...
6:15PM ( 3 weeks ago )