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4 Mar, 2024 12:56

Russia has no expansionist ambitions – Medvedev

Moscow’s actions are a response to the West’s encroachment, the former president has said
Russia has no expansionist ambitions – Medvedev

Russia is not seeking to expand its borders through occupation, former President Dmitry Medvedev said on Monday. He insisted that the current Ukraine conflict is a response to provocations from the West. 

Presenting a lecture at the ‘Knowledge First’ event as part of the World Youth Festival in Sochi, Medvedev, who currently serves as deputy head of Russia’s Security Council, discussed the concepts of geographical and “strategic” borders. 

While the first type are internationally recognized lines that delineate states and determine the borders of their sovereignty, “strategic borders” define how strong and sovereign a state is, and where it extends its political power, Medvedev said. 

“It has always been this way: those who could afford it, wanted to control the development of the situation near their own borders, and also projected their influence as far as possible,” he added, citing the Roman Empire as an example. 

The existence of strategic borders does not mean that strong countries want to “go to war with their neighbors and redraw the political map of the world,” the former president said. He added that this distinguishes the present from the past, when geographical borders were subject to “constant fluctuations and could be challenged at any time.” 

Medvedev referred to the Ukraine conflict as a “special case,” stressing that Russia’s actions are not aimed at expanding its borders through “effective occupation.” 

Instead, he insisted that Moscow’s military offensive against Kiev is “a forced, but quite effective response to the Russophobic policies of the Bandera regime and the collective West,” who he claimed aim to “destroy our statehood, [and] undermine [our] independence and sovereignty.” 

Medvedev stressed that Ukraine is an “integral part of Russian strategic and historical borders,” and that any attempts to forcibly change this “are doomed.” 

Russia “doesn’t need someone else’s land” but will “never give up” its own, Medvedev added, stating that this extends to shelf territories in the Arctic Ocean. “This is ours, as in Russian, and we will not allow anyone to take what is ours, including the Gakkel, Lomonosov, and Mendeleev ridges,” he insisted.