Russian President Vladimir Putin, during a meeting with the leaders of the factions of the State Duma, said that the Russian army has a significant potential that has not yet been realized during the special operation in Ukraine.
"The desire of the West to fight us to the last Ukrainian is a tragedy for the Ukrainian people. But everything seems to be going to that. Yet, everyone should know that we, by and large, have not started anything seriously yet," Putin said.
Moscow is open to peaceful negotiations over the situation in Ukraine, but this process should not be delayed, he also said.
In late May, during Putin's telephone conversations with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Western politicians urged Moscow to end the Russian military operation through diplomacy. Berlin and Paris are sure that Putin needs to sit down at the negotiating table with Ukrainian President Zelensky. The Kremlin reported that Moscow was ready for dialogue, but it was frozen at Kyiv's initiative.
Zelensky has repeatedly confirmed his readiness for peace talks with Russia. On June 7, he said that stalemate in the conflict was "not an option." Any war, the Ukrainian leader noted, must end at the negotiating table.
Putin responded to statements from Western about plans to defeat Russia on the battlefield.
"Today we hear that they want to defeat us on the battlefield. What can I say — let them try," Putin said.
Moscow does not refuse peace talks, but it will be more difficult to negotiate with Russia, the further the crisis around Ukraine deepens.
Putin stressed that it was the collective West that unleashed the conflict in Ukraine. It was Western nations that staged and supported the coup in 2014, and then the crisis in the Donbass. According to Putin, Western countries were provoking the conflict deliberately in order to move on to a new stage in the fight against Russia.
"It is the collective West that acts as the direct instigator and the culprit of what is happening today. The war has been unleashed, the sanctions have been imposed. It would probably be difficult to do this under normal circumstances," Putin said.
The West has already lost since the announcement of the special operation, because its start means a transition from "liberal-globalist American egocentrism to the truly multipolar world." Any attempts to impose their own world order are doomed to failure, the Russian president said.
The final result of the special military operation in Ukraine would be achieved in any case, Putin also said.
Western nations have been behaving aggressively for decades, he said. The West has been ignoring both Russia's proposals to create a security system in Europe and warnings about the inadmissibility of NATO's eastward expansion. Western countries reject Russia's initiatives of cooperation in the field of missile defense and consider the idea of Russia being a NATO member absurd.
"They simply do not need a country like Russia. That is why they supported terrorism, separatism in Russia, internal destructive forces and the fifth column in our country. All of them have received and still receive unconditional support from the collective West," Putin said.
On June 29, NATO leaders adopted a new strategic concept, in which Russia was officially recognized as the greatest threat to the security of the North Atlantic Alliance. The hostilities in Ukraine, which, according to the document, shook Euro-Atlantic security and caused untold suffering and destruction became the main factor behind the decision of the alliance.
In addition, NATO saw threats in Russia's actions to the east and to the south of the borders of NATO members, as well as in the Far North, in the Baltic, Black and Mediterranean seas.
Speaking about sanctions, Putin said that the West was trying not only to strike a blow at the Russian economy, but also to sow discord in the Russian society, to demoralize people. However, the West has not been able to reach this goal. According to the president, restrictions create difficulties for Russia, but they are not as significant as initiators of the "economic blitzkrieg" expected.
Selim Bensaad, the great-grandson of Joseph Stalin, wrote an open letter to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. In the letter, Bensaad pointed out the need to dissolve the United Nations