Khamenei also repeated Kremlin propaganda talking points about Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine as preempting a NATO attack.
“If NATO’s path had not been blocked in Ukraine, a while later on the pretext of the Crimean Peninsula, they would have started the same war,” Khamenei said.
“The Islamic Republic is by no means pleased with hardships imposed against ordinary people, but in the case of Ukraine, if you (Putin) had not taken control of the situation, the other side would have with its initiatives caused the outbreak of a war .”
Ayatollah added that the West does not want a “strong Russia.”
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