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West deals heavy blow to Ukraine while blaming Russia, Putin says

Among the blows, Putin named the EU requirements on exporting round timber from the Carpathians, which could deprive the region of forest, the International Monetary Fund’s recommendations to cancel domestic gas discounts and more

MOSCOW, December 19. /TASS/. Western countries blame Moscow for a challenging situation in Ukraine but deal a heavy blow to Kiev themselves, Russian President Vladimir Putin told his annual news conference on Thursday.

"[The United States says that] it seeks to help Ukraine keep [gas] transit," Putin said. "We also want to keep transit and we are interested in this in any case. If they want to help, they should better give money."

The Russian leader noted that the US and European states seem to "support the Ukrainian regime and its leadership but at the same time deliver some serious blows."

Among these blows, Putin named the EU requirements on exporting round timber from the Carpathian Mountains, which could leave the region without forest, as well as the International Monetary Fund’s recommendations to cancel gas discounts for citizens and plans on creating the land market.

"Now they demand that they start selling land," the Russian leader said. "For Ukrainians land is of vital importance. I can understand this, these are golden lands. Certainly, the opposition immediately took advantage of this and started delivering domestic political blows against [Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky."

"They blame us for Ukrainian problems and they allegedly want to help but in fact what they really want is that Ukraine should replenish its budget at Russia’s expense," the president stressed.