MOSCOW, Russia – Russian President Vladimir Putin has claimed he knew Moscow would face sanctions after Crimea’s reunification with Russia.
“I had no doubt about that, although it was unclear in what way it was going to be done,” Putin said.
The answer came in response to a question posed by TV host Vladimir Solovyov in the World Order 2018 documentary on whether he expected that sanctions would be imposed on Russia.
“While making these decisions, I had to evaluate Crimea’s return and the possible ramifications to our relations with many countries around the globe,” the president added.
He stressed that “when we consider the destinies of millions of people on the one hand, and the fact that Crimea is home to over two million people who want to return to Russia, with the difficulties in relations with other countries on the other, the former is far more important.”
“Sometimes, I get the feeling, and I believe there are certain grounds for that, that someone deliberately steered us towards this line, and after reaching it we had to act the way we did. Few people expected that we would act so quickly and decisively, if not downright, audaciously. Our opponents have formulated the right tactics, and they achieve their goals strategically to a certain degree. I believe, however, that we will eventually win all the same,” he said.