WARNING: TASS is a Russian Government News Service
TASS: Western sanctions against Moscow are akin to a declaration of war, but there are no prerequisites for the introduction of martial law on the territory of the country. This was stated on Saturday by Russian President Vladimir Putin at a meeting with women pilots of Russian airlines at the Aeroflot training center in Khimki, Moscow Region.
Russia, he said, has no plans to send conscripts and reservists to Ukraine – there are enough available forces and means, especially since almost the entire Ukrainian military infrastructure has already been destroyed. And Western sanctions will respond with economic liberalization. If the West tries to establish a no-fly zone over Ukraine, as Kyiv demands, the consequences will be “colossal and catastrophic,” the head of state warned.
TASS collected key statements from the president at the meeting.
About the operation in Ukraine
- The decision to start a special military operation in Ukraine was difficult but necessary: Kyiv’s accession to NATO could lead to a conflict between Moscow and the alliance in the future, and if the Ukrainians get nuclear weapons, “from this very second the fate of Russia will be completely different.” “These are absolutely real threats. This is not some far-fetched nonsense. And our guys who are fighting there now are laying down their lives, they <…> are fighting for our future, for the future of our children.”
- Moscow made the right decision not to limit itself to supporting the republics of Donbass directly on the line of contact, since in this case, Kiev would “endlessly receive support with material resources, ammunition, equipment, and so on.” “Therefore, our general staff, the Ministry of Defense took a different path, the first thing they did was to destroy the entire military infrastructure, well, not all, partially.”
- Now the operation is developing successfully: “It is going according to plan, according to the schedule, everything is going as planned by the General Staff.”
On martial law and reservists
- The Russian authorities do not plan to introduce martial law in the country, since this is a measure in case of external aggression: “We do not have such a situation. I hope there will not be <…> We do not plan to introduce any special situation on the territory of the Russian Federation.”
- Only professional military personnel participate and will participate in the operation in Ukraine: “Neither conscripts nor those who are called up for training, we do not use anyone and are not going to use anyone in this military operation.”
- “As for the volunteers and those young people who come to the military registration and enlistment offices, we are grateful to them for this patriotic impulse, the desire to support the country, support the armed forces. Probably, the very fact that they come is also important, but their help is not required yet. I’m sure it won’t be required.”
On the possible intervention of the West
- Russia will react to attempts to organize a no-fly zone over Ukraine: “Any movement in this direction will be considered by us as participation in the armed conflict of the country from whose territory threats to our servicemen will be created. We will immediately consider them as participants in military conflicts, and it doesn’t matter what organizations they are members of.”
- “The implementation of this demand [of Kyiv] is fraught with colossal and catastrophic consequences not only for Europe but for the whole world. I think that those who are cooking something on the other side have an understanding of this.”
On negotiations with Kiev
- Russian proposals are “on the table” with representatives of Ukraine, and there is hope in Moscow that “they will respond positively to this.”
- Russia’s goals are the denazification and demilitarization of the country, giving it a neutral status, “because if the status is neutral, then they won’t gather in NATO.” As for demilitarization, various options are possible, which are now being discussed, including with representatives of Kyiv.
About Western sanctions
- “The sanctions that are being introduced are akin to a declaration of war, but, thank God, it hasn’t come to that yet.”
- Russia will respond to the challenges posed by sanctions and economic liberalization: “I believe that in the conditions in which we are now, there can be only one way out – maximum economic freedom for people who do business.” In particular, we are talking about the decriminalization of economic crimes, especially in the case of damages.
- The state will fulfill its obligations to citizens under these conditions: “Both pensions and social benefits, they will all be indexed.” In addition, new steps will be announced in the near future to create a coherent system of support for families with children from pregnancy to the age of the majority of the child.
On the situation in aviation
- Those who impose sanctions on Russian civil aviation do so to their own detriment and “under political pressure”: “And I think they don’t really like doing it either.”
- Russia, however, does not plan to abandon foreign flights: “We will, of course, increase domestic flights, but <…> we will fly abroad [if possible], we will strive to change the situation.”
- The head of the Ministry of Transport, Vitaly Savelyev, already has specific proposals for solving problems with leasing, spare parts, and aircraft maintenance: “We will give him the opportunity to negotiate with partners <…> I proceed from the fact that we will fly.”
- In the current situation, there are pluses from the point of view of the need to develop our own aviation and infrastructure, as happened with the development of the agro-industrial complex: “In this sense, as our people say,” there would be no happiness, but misfortune helped. We will act both in the field of aircraft construction and in the field of transportation.”