Support The Moscow Times!

Putin Labels Russian Baltic Threat as 'Nonsense'

Russian President Vladimir Putin has dismissed fears of a Russian threat to the Baltic states as “complete nonsense.”

Speaking in an interview with the Bloomberg news agency, Putin claimed that “all straight-thinking people in politics understand that notions of a Russian threat to, let’s say, the Baltic States, are complete nonsense.”

“Yes, we are a nuclear power, but do you really think that we are planning to capture the Baltic using nuclear weapons or something?", Putin said. “It’s just nonsense.”

The Russian president admitted that the country wanted "more substantial” economic influence in cross-border cooperation, but refuted claims that Russia wanted to gain new territory, asking “as if we need any more?”

Putin maintained that Russia “has practiced and will continue to practice an absolutely peaceful foreign policy, aimed at cooperation," and that the country's foreign policy was driven by “the conviction that you must not resist the will of the people.”

The president also criticized the international community's refusal to recognize Crimea as Russian following its annexation from Ukraine. The peninsula was officially incorporated into Russian territory following a highly-disputed referendum in 2014.

“So in one place, Kosovo [which declared independence from Serbia following a referendum in 1991], you can accept the will of the people, but not here [in the case of Crimea],” Putin said, calling Western nations’ stance on Crimea “political gamesmanship.”

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

As we approach the holiday season, please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world’s largest country.