Putin slams US and EU envoys at Kremlin ceremony and blames West for deteriorating relations

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Putin slams US and EU envoys at Kremlin ceremony and blames West for deteriorating relations

At a ceremony in the Kremlin on Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin criticized the ambassadors of the United States and the European Union, blaming their countries for a dramatic deterioration in relations with Moscow.

At a televised ceremony in the Kremlin, the Russian leader bluntly rebuked the ambassadors, including 17 who officially presented their diplomatic credentials.

Putin told new US Ambassador Lynne Tracy that Washington's support for an alleged revolution in Ukraine in 2014 had led to the current war in the former Soviet republic, warning that relations were in a "deep crisis" that " fundamentally different approaches to shaping the modern world order”.

"Dear Madam Ambassador, I know that you may not agree with this, but I can only say that the use of instruments such as support for the so-called 'color revolutions' in this regard in support of the 2014 coup in Kiev by the United States eventually led to today's Ukraine crisis," said the Russian President.

As early as 2014, the two ethnic Russian-dominated regions of Donetsk and Luhansk (collectively called Donbass) seceded from Ukraine, established self-proclaimed republics and refused to recognize a Western-backed Ukrainian government there that had overthrown a democratically elected pro-Russian administration after weeks of street protests .

Moscow launched a full-scale military operation against Ukraine in February last year with the stated aim of defending the pro-Russian population in the Donbass region from Kiev's persecution and "denazifying" its neighbor.

Moscow said it was forced to start the war to stem Western interference, which was becoming a threat to its security.

Over the past year, despite Moscow's repeated warnings, the US and its NATO allies have shipped a large stockpile of advanced military hardware to Ukraine, pushing their post-Cold War relationship with Russia to an all-time low.

Speaking to new EU ambassador Roland Galharague, Putin said "the European Union has launched a geopolitical confrontation with Russia."

"We see the reason in the fact that the EU abandoned its original mission of developing economic cooperation and integration on the European continent and launched a geopolitical confrontation with Russia," said the Russian President.

Moscow hopes that "any actions damaging our relations will be a thing of the past," and turning the page would "benefit both Russia and the economies of the organization's member states," he said.

The Russian President also called on Denmark to support Moscow's proposal to set up an independent international commission to investigate sabotage attacks that destroyed the Nord Stream underwater pipelines.

The pipelines connecting Russia and Germany under the Baltic Sea were hit by unexplained explosions in September last year in what Moscow called an act of "international terrorism". Swedish and other European investigators say the blasts were caused by premeditated attacks.

In his opening speech, Putin said that despite the complex situation in the world, Russia is open to constructive partnership with any country around the world and will not isolate itself.

“The situation in the world is currently complicated, a lot of controversies have accumulated, which sometimes feel irreconcilable and impede normal, productive cooperation between states. Nevertheless, we would like to hope that the work of your embassies will contribute to the development of cooperation between our countries," he said.

"Rest assured that all your initiatives and proposals that follow this course will have the support of both the Russian authorities and our business and public circles."

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