Former adviser to Putin says Russian president’s ambitions lie far beyond Crimea

Sydney, March 31: Russian president Vladimir Putin reportedly has ambitions that

lie far beyond Crimea, a former adviser of the president has claimed.

Andrej Illarionov, who served as Putin’s chief economic counsellor from 2000 to 2005, said that Putin’s view is that he protects what belongs to him and his predecessors.

Illarionov said that parts of Georgia, Ukraine, Belarus, the Baltic States and Finland are states where Putin claims to have ownership.

Discussing Putin’s long term intentions with a Swedish newspaper, the Svenska Dagbladet, Illarionov said that it is not on Putin’s agenda today or tomorrow, but if Putin is not stopped, the issue will be brought sooner or later, reported.

He said that Russia gave independence to Finland in 1917, but this was an act of treason against national interests and since Finland is not a member of NATO, Russia will have easier work in reclaiming the territory.

Meanwhile, Russia has maintained that it has no intention of invading Ukraine or Finland.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Russians had no interests in crossing the Ukrainian border. (ANI)