Top Russian officials accused the United States on Thursday of seeking political and military dominance in the world and sought to put blame on the West for international security crises, including the conflict in east Ukraine.
Evoking Cold War-style rhetoric, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said a drive by the United States and its allies to bring Kiev closer to the West was a threat to Moscow and had forced it to react.
“The United States and its allies have crossed all possible lines in their drive to bring Kiev into their orbit. That could not have failed to trigger our reaction,” he told an annual security conference in Moscow.
Echoing his comments, General Valery Gerasimov, chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, told the meeting: “Considering themselves the winners of the Cold War, the United States decided to reshape the world to fit its needs.
“Aiming at complete dominance, Washington stopped taking into account the interests of other countries and respect international law.”
Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine last March following what it says was an “unconstitutional coup” in which street protests toppled a Moscow-allied Ukrainian president in Kiev after he ditched a deal to move closer to the European Union.