Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday (4/12) bemoaned his poor relations with Western countries, which were shattered after he launched a full-scale offensive against Ukraine last year. He made this statement when he received mandate letters from a number of new ambassadors.
At an official event in the Kremlin, Putin swore in some 24 new ambassadors, including from countries such as Britain and Germany, whose diplomatic relations have strained during the 21-month offensive.
“This is not an easy moment,” Putin told the ambassadors, with Russia hit by sanctions from the West as Moscow’s offensive has been hampered by winter.
Speaking to the new ambassador from Britain, whose relations with Russia had cooled even before the invasion of Ukraine, White said Moscow and London had been able to overcome differences in the 20th century.
“After the period of World War II until now, our two countries have been able to build good relations,” said the Russian leader.
“However, we all know the current situation and we should hope that this situation, in the interests of our country and nation, will change for the better,” he continued.
Putin also told the German ambassador that he regretted that Berlin decided to cut off energy supplies from Russia.
“For more than half a century we together with Germany have been able to develop a pragmatic business approach that creates comfort for both countries and the entire European continent,” said Putin, speaking German. He had previously been stationed in Dresden during his career at the Russian intelligence bureau, the KGB.
“Our country has never failed to supply Germany with environmentally clean gas,” he said. “The cooperation was completely destroyed by the explosion of the gas pipeline,” he added, referring to the Nord Stream gas pipeline in the Baltic Sea which was damaged by a series of mysterious explosions in September 2022.
Putin also told the new Swedish ambassador that “communication with Stockhlom is completely absent” as Sweden prepares to join NATO.
Putin also regretted his bad relations with Western ally South Korea.
“As is well known, relations between Russia and Korea are unfortunately not in their best period,” Putin said, adding that he was ready to improve the situation.
Putin angered Seoul by welcoming North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to Russia in September. He also accepted an invitation to visit Pyongyang. (ns/hour)