MOSCOW (AA) – Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine was a “forced measure,” President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday.
“What is happening is a forced measure. We were left no choice to act differently,” Putin said at a meeting with Russian businesses in Moscow, underlining that there had been “such risks in the security domain that there were no other means to react.”
He said all Russia’s attempts to address the security issues had been fruitless and yielded not even “a millimeter” of progress, stressing that Moscow had faced existential risks.
On Western sanctions, Putin said Russia remains a part of the global economy and that it would not harm this system while inside it.
“Our partners have to understand this, and not set a goal of pushing us out of this system,” he noted.
He asked the business representatives to treat “what is happening with understanding” and work with the government in search of tools that would support the economy and industry.
As for the government, he said its main task would be to provide favorable conditions and predictability for businesses.
“We cannot forecast geopolitical risks but in relations between the government and business, you have the right to expect predictability,” he said.
Appearing distraught, the business representatives expressed hope that Russia would not be closed off to the global economy and complained about sanctions that they said made their work extremely difficult.