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Russia Analyst: Putin’s ‘We do not Create Tensions’ Claim at Valdai is a ‘Blatant Lie’


Ukraine - Armed man in military uniform, believed to be Russian, stands outside the territory of the Ukrainian naval headquarters as Ukrainian troops guard their base in Sevastopol, 03 March 2014.
Vladimir Putin

Vladimir Putin

President of the Russian Federation

“There is an old joke... Maybe some don’t know it, it will be interesting. It goes like this. Question: ‘How do you relax?’ Answer: ‘I don’t get tense.” The same goes for tensions in international affairs. We don’t create tensions for anybody; we don’t create any problems.”

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Russia has created international problems, tensions and crises.

During the annual Valdai Club meeting in Sochi on October 18, Russian President Vladimir Putin responded to a question about international tensions -- specifically, about whether his meeting with the U.S. President Donald Trump exacerbated tensions between the two nations rather than fixed them.

FINLAND -- US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin arrive for a meeting in Helsinki, on July 16, 2018.
FINLAND -- US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin arrive for a meeting in Helsinki, on July 16, 2018.

Putin responded with a joke and claimed Russia’s foreign policy was flawless. “We don’t create tensions for anybody; we do not create any problems,” he said.

Polygraph.info asked diplomats, academics and other experts to respond to Putin’s claim.

“It is a blatant lie. The Kremlin loves destabilization,” said Anders Aslund, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and former Swedish diplomat who served as an economic advisor to Russia and Ukraine in the 1990s

BELGIUM -- U.S. Ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison accused Russia of violating the intermediate nuclear missile treaty at a NATO defense ministers meeting in Brussels, October 2, 2018.
BELGIUM -- U.S. Ambassador to NATO Kay Bailey Hutchison accused Russia of violating the intermediate nuclear missile treaty at a NATO defense ministers meeting in Brussels, October 2, 2018.

Steven Pifer, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine said “Russian actions just during the past five years have created major tensions in East-West relations.”

He listed Russian actions that have heightened international tensions:

  • Seizure and illegal annexation of Crimea; support -- including with units of the Russian army -- for the continuing conflict in Donbas;
  • Violation of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty by developing and deploying a prohibited land-based cruise missile of intermediate range;
  • Large military exercises (some with no notice);
  • Aggressive buzzing of NATO ships and aircraft;
  • Attempted assassination of Sergey Skripal;
  • Interference in U.S. and other Western elections.

Pifer added that the West also bears responsibility, but the main blame falls on Russia’s own actions.

U.K. -- Police stand at a cordon securing the part of The Maltings shopping center in Salisbury, March 9, 2018.
U.K. -- Police stand at a cordon securing the part of The Maltings shopping center in Salisbury, March 9, 2018.

“This is not to say that the West is blameless for the deterioration in West-Russia relations, but Moscow's actions bear significant responsibility,” he said.

Stephen Blank, a senior fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council said in response to Putin’s claim: “Ukraine, Georgia, Syria, UK, the U.S. election interference and the hacking of the World Anti-Doping agency WADA – all show that he is, as usual lying.”

Edward Lucas, a British journalist and author, said Russia has been “causing problems for its neighbors since 1991.”

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