Russian President Vladimir Putin warned the West on Thursday of a military confrontation following its response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Belga News Agency reports.
“Today we hear they want to beat us on the battlefield. What to say to that? Let them try,” said the Russian leader. Everyone should know that Russia hasn’t even really started in Ukraine yet, he added.
Moscow does not reject peace negotiations, “but whoever rejects them should know that the further they go, the more difficult it will be for them to reach an agreement with us,” Putin told faction leaders of the Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament.
Putin called the parliamentary leaders “true statesmen and patriots” who have supported the “special military operation,” Moscow’s euphemism for the Russian aggression in Ukraine since late February.
“There are many parties, but only one homeland,” Putin said at the meeting, held in the Kremlin. “There is nothing more important than the fate of the fatherland.”
Putin accused the West of wanting to fight “to the last Ukrainian,” and that, he said, “is a tragedy for the Ukrainian people.”
The Russian leader also accused the West of conducting an “economic blitzkrieg against Russia”.