“He may be entirely misreading the West,” Obama said.
President Obama told CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley on Friday that Russian President Vladamir Putin needs to “move back” his troops in order to reduce tensions with Ukraine.
“You’ve seen a range of troops massing along that border under the guise of military exercises, but these are not what Russia would normally be doing,” Obama said. “It may simply be an effort to intimidate Ukraine, or it may be that they’ve got additional plans.”
“And, in either case, what we need right now to resolve and de-escalate the situation would be for Russia to move back those troops and to begin negotiations directly with the Ukrainian government as well as the international community.”
“What is Vladamir Putin after?” Pelley asked the president.
“On this, I think he’s been willing to show a deeply held grievance about what he considers to be the loss of the Soviet Union,” Obama opined.
“You would have thought that after a couple of decades that there’d be an awareness on the part of any Russian leader that the path forward is not to revert back to the kinds of practices that, you know, were so prevalent during the Cold War…He has said that he considers the breakup of the Soviet Union to be tragic. I think there’s a strong sense of Russian nationalism and a sense that somehow the West has taken advantage of Russia in the past and that he wants in some fashion, reverse that or make up for that. What I have repeatedly said is that may be entirely misreading the west.”
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