Putin says Russia has no 'imperial' ambitions, does not plan to attack NATO

President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday told a meeting of foreign news outlets that Moscow harbours no "imperial ambitions" and dismissed as "bollocks" the idea that Russia could attack NATO.

"There is no need to look for some imperial ambitions of ours. There are none," Putin said in answer to a question from AFP about the presence of Soviet and Russian imperial flags at the headquarters of Russian energy giant Gazprom where the meeting took place.

"There is no need to look for something that is not there," he said, adding: "Don't make up an image of Russia as an enemy. You will only harm yourselves."

"They've come up with this idea that Russia wants to attack NATO. Have you lost your mind? Are you as thick as two short planks? Who made this up? It's nonsense, it's bollocks," Putin told reporters.

Russia denied for months that it was preparing a military offensive in Ukraine before launching the assault on Feb. 24, 2022, accusing Western powers of trying to use their Ukrainian ally to harm Russia.

Putin criticised the West's delivery of long-range weapons to Ukraine, arguing Moscow could arm other countries with similar weapons to attack Western targets.

The comments came after several Western countries including the United States gave Ukraine the green light to strike targets inside Russia, a move Moscow has called a grave miscalculation.

"If someone thinks it is possible to supply such weapons to a warzone to attack our territory and create problems for us, why don't we have the right to supply weapons of the same class to regions of the world where there will be strikes on sensitive facilities of those (Western) countries," Putin said.

"That is, the response can be asymmetric. We will think about it," he...

Continue reading on: