MOSCOW, December 23. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday said the US diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Olympics is a mistake and the US should realize it won’t contain China’s development.
"It’s a mistake to attempt to use sports to address momentary political issues," he said during his annual news conference. "They won’t contain China’s development and they need to realize this eventually."
Sanctions against Russia also seek to contain the country’s development, Putin said.
"There’s no other reason, believe me," he said. "It’s not about the name of the country’s leader or any current issues and problems."
"It’s an attempt to contain development and to prevent potential competition from emerging," he went on to say.
NATO’s expansion eastward is also an erroneous deterrence policy, he said. Putin recalled former German politician Egon Bahr, saying the social democrat predicted threats to European security unless a security system was put in place that respected the interests of all sides. Bahr proposed, Putin said, that NATO shouldn’t accept central and eastern European countries after Soviet troops left eastern Europe. Putin said Bahr warned that otherwise a virtual Berlin wall would move further east.
The president said he picked up the information from reading archives, including about Bahr’s talks with the Soviet leadership.
Putin said getting rid of the "remaining options of maintaining and developing relations among countries" would be a mistake.