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Putin says U.S. and NATO have ‘ignored’ Russia’s security concerns amid standoff over Ukraine

“But it is already clear that Russia’s fundamental concerns have been ignored,” Putin said. “NATO refers to the right of countries to choose freely, but you cannot strengthen someone’s security at the expense of others.”

President Vladimir Putin hit back publicly against the West on Tuesday, accusing the United States and NATO of using Ukraine to hem in Russia and ignoring Moscow’s security concerns, the Washington Post reports.

The Russian leader, speaking in Moscow during in a news conference with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, said the Kremlin was studying U.S. and NATO replies to recent Kremlin proposals seeking to check NATO military activity in the region, one element in a flurry of diplomatic activity aimed at averting a renewed Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“But it is already clear that Russia’s fundamental concerns have been ignored,” Putin said. “NATO refers to the right of countries to choose freely, but you cannot strengthen someone’s security at the expense of others.”

For weeks, East-West tensions have mounted over the buildup of more than 100,000 Russian troops around Ukraine, which U.S. and NATO officials say may be a precursor to a Russian offensive like the one that allowed Moscow to annex Crimea in 2014.

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