The Russian President, Vladimir Putin, accused the West on Tuesday (1 Febuary) of "deliberately" creating a scenario leading to war, and ignoring Russia's security concerns over Ukraine.
During a press conference held in the framework of a visit by Hungarian Prime Minister, Victor Orbán, Putin accused Western countries of "deliberately creating a situation to provoke a war". It was the first direct public comment in weeks by Putin on the situation around Ukraine.
Putin considers Ukraine's possible NATO membership a direct threat to Russia's security. He outlined a possible scenario: "if Ukraine joins NATO and decides to recapture Crimea", he said, "this could lead to a war between the Western alliance and Russia".
Russia has gathered more than 100,000 troops on the Ukrainian border. Western countries fear an Russian invasion, but Putin has previously denied this.