Russia responding "with restraint" to Ukrainian attacks: Putin

Russia's main goal is 'liberation' of Donbas, but 'operation' will not stop there, says Russian president.

Russia responding "with restraint" to Ukrainian attacks: Putin

Russia is responding with restraint to Ukrainian "terrorist attacks" and strikes on infrastructure, President Vladimir Putin said Friday.

Addressing a news conference following the sideline meetings of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, he said the main goal of Russia's "special operation" is the liberation of the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine.

Russia is in no hurry and its operation will not stop, despite Ukrainian attempts to launch a counteroffensive, he said.

"Quite recently, the Russian Armed Forces launched a couple of sensitive strikes (in Ukraine). Let's assume this was just a warning. If the situation prevails, the response could be more serious," he added.

"We are not fighting with a full army. We fight only with a part of the Russian army, a contract-based part (only)," he said.

He said the Ukrainian intelligence attempted to attack Russia's nuclear power stations.

"We see it all, we control it, of course, and we will do everything to prevent a negative development of events. And the answer will come, if they do not understand that such methods are unacceptable. They are, in fact, no different from the methods of terrorism," he stressed.

About Kyiv's draft security guarantees, Putin went on to say that Ukraine's position changes almost every day and because of that it is necessary to wait and observe.

He added that Russia itself demanded security guarantees last year but no one considered it necessary to respond to its proposals.

He stressed that Russia launched the war in Ukraine to prevent the creation of an "anti-Russian enclave" in Ukraine.

Grain export

Putin said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is making a “significant” contribution to the normalization of the situation in Ukraine.

"He (President Erdogan) really makes a serious contribution to solving a number of serious issues arising around this crisis. And it goes without saying that he also offers a meeting with (Ukrainian) President (Volodymyr) Zelenskyy, believing that it can lead to some positive result," the president said.

He said the first condition for starting peace talks with Ukraine is Kyiv's consent to engage in talks.

Putin said that the grain exported from Ukraine largely belongs to American companies.

"It turned out that the land of Ukraine has long been sold to American companies. This is their grain, they export their grain. That's why, apparently, there were so many conversations on this subject," he said.

Putin said the UN secretary-general is trying to resolve the issues regarding the deliveries of Russian and Belarusian fertilizers, but he has not succeeded yet.

“Russia will sell its fertilizers anyway, the problem is that the poorest countries will get nothing,” he stressed.

About his talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Putin said it was "an ordinary meeting."

Turning to the energy crisis in Europe, Putin said the EU accuses Russia of creating it “to provide itself with protection from the indignant citizens of their countries."

Putin said he has not decided yet whether he will go to the G20 summit in Bali, but added that his country will be represented there.

"I have an invitation to visit the G20 (summit). The president of the host country (Joko Widodo) personally informed me about this when he was in Moscow (on June 30).

"Then he called me again and said: ‘Keep in mind, there is a certain pressure, but my position is firm, we want to see you at this summit’," Putin said.

Speaking about the role of the SCO for Russia, he said cooperation with members of the organization creates conditions for the development of the Russian economy.

The Russian president said his country’s influence helped contained the recent escalation between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

About the new sanctions that the US imposed on Thursday, Putin said sanctions against the presidential commissioner for children's rights are “outrageous.”

On Thursday, the US imposed new sanctions on individuals and groups that it said have facilitated Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Hüseyin Demir