Russian President Vladimir Putin appears more emboldened than ever following his sit-down two weeks ago with President Joe Biden, and this week he taunted Biden and U.S. allies by making some very bold statements.
The Sun reported that during a televised Q&A on Wednesday between Putin and Russian citizens, the head of state and former KGB agent touted his country’s military strength in what was no doubt a shot at Biden, the U.K. and other NATO powers.
In a jab at the U.S., he stated that the “period of unipolar world is over,” noting the country and others have been “surpassed.”
“No matter what sanctions are imposed on Russia, no matter what the scaremongering, Russia is developing and in some respects our country has surpassed the European countries and even the U.S.,” he said on Russian TV.
Putin told the Russian people he doesn’t intend to start a conflict, but said that if provoked, his military forces would use “asymmetrical ways” to respond to foes it no longer views as running the show in the region.
“I hope the United States will change this attitude not only towards us, but also towards their other allies,” he said.
Putin went on to say the world was “changing dramatically” and invoked last week’s tense skirmish between a Russian fighter jet and a British warship called the HMS Defender.
BBC News reported that last week, the HMS Defender was buzzed by Russian planes as it passed near the annexed Crimean peninsula.
Putin bragged Wednesday that if his fighters sent the ship below the waves, the West would have not responded in any meaningful way.
“Even if we had sunk the British destroyer near Crimea it is unlikely that the world would have been on the verge of World War Three,” Putin said.
“On the other hand, at all costs, they are trying to maintain their monopoly position. Hence their threats and sanctions come out,” he noted of the adversarial relationship between NATO members and the U.S.
He then directly challenged U.S. supremacy globally, which draws more scrutiny to Biden’s portrayal of his sit-down with Putin as being productive.
“Those who are doing this know that they couldn’t be the winners in this war,” he said. “We are on our land. We’re fighting for ourselves and our future.”
“The Royal Navy ship is conducting innocent passage through Ukrainian territorial waters in accordance with international law,” the British said in a statement. “We believe the Russians were undertaking a gunnery exercise in the Black Sea and provided the maritime community with prior-warning of their activity.”
“No shots were directed at HMS Defender and we do not recognize the claim that bombs were dropped in her path,” the ministry added.
We believe the Russians were undertaking a gunnery exercise in the Black Sea and provided the maritime community with prior-warning of their activity.
No shots were directed at HMS Defender and we do not recognise the claim that bombs were dropped in her path.
— Ministry of Defence Press Office (@DefenceHQPress) June 23, 2021
While the events of last week regarding the British ship remain unclear, one fact is indisputable as of this week: Putin feels emboldened to assert dominance in the Black Sea and possibly beyond, and he’s now convinced Russia is in a position to challenge decades of post-Cold War dominance by the U.S. and its allies.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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