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Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Moscow’s continued upgrading of its nuclear arsenal, maintaining strategic forces at peak readiness in response to what he termed a “hybrid war” waged by the West.

Addressing a conference of senior defense officials, Putin also stressed Russia’s commitment to its objectives in Ukraine while signaling openness to negotiations. Putin said, “In Ukraine, those who are aggressive towards Russia, and in Europe and in the United States – do they want to negotiate? Let them. But we will do it based on our national interests. We will not give up what is ours.”

The Russian government continues to demand that Ukraine maintain neutrality and abstain from joining NATO, citing “denazification, demilitarisation, and a neutral status” as key conditions.

Putin’s stance on Ukraine’s NATO membership was unequivocal, deeming it unacceptable for Russia in the foreseeable future. He stressed that Russia’s approach to dealing with Ukraine would be based on its own interests, regardless of Kyiv’s efforts to reach agreements.


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