Russian President, Vladimir Putin has warned he is willing to take ‘military measures’ in response to ‘unfriendly’ Western action in Ukraine.
Giving the warning during a meeting at the defence ministry on Tuesday December 20, Putin said Russia will ‘react toughly to unfriendly steps’ and stressed ‘that we have every right to do so’.
Referring to a Western bid to bolster Ukraine with weapons and military training, the Russian leader said;
“In the event that the clearly aggressive line of our Western colleagues continues, we will take adequate retaliatory military-technical measures, and react toughly to unfriendly steps.
“And, I want to emphasize, we have every right to do so, we have every right to take actions designed to ensure the security and sovereignty of Russia.”
Around 175,000 Russian combat forces are expected to be near Ukraine’s borders by January and pro-Russian separatists are attacking Ukraine troops daily. On the frontline in Donbas, Ukraine, Russian troops have been building up in support of pro-Russian separatists in the Donetsk and Luhansk region.
Putin denies any Russian involvement in the region but it is feared he will use the conflict to justify an incursion deeper into Ukraine, threatening to bring war to Europe’s borders.
Dmitry Kiselyov, a media mogul known as Putin’s mouthpiece also threatened to ‘put a gun to America’s head’ if NATO forces are stationed in Ukraine and warned the alliance to back off ‘otherwise, everyone will be turned into radioactive ash.’
Putin who also warned countrues against taking America at its word, added;
‘We need long-term legally binding guarantees.
‘The United States easily withdraws from all international treaties that for one reason or another become uninteresting to them,’ he added.
‘What is going on, this tension that builds up in Europe, it is their fault, At each step Russia had to respond somehow.
‘At each step the situation got worse and worse, degraded and degraded. And today we are in the situation when we need to decide something.’
Russia ‘cannot allow’ the West to put its weapons so close to Moscow, he added. ‘If this infrastructure moves, if the US and NATO missile systems appear in Ukraine, then their flight time to Moscow will be reduced to 7-10 minutes, and with the deployment of hypersonic weapons – to five,’ Putin said.
The Kremlin had also said that high-level talks between the US and Russia are underway over the list of demands, but said no agreements have yet been reached.
The White House has said it will consult with NATO allies over the demands, but it was willing to make no promises.
Asked about those demands by the BBC on Monday December 20, Mr Kiselyov responded: ‘If Ukraine ever joins NATO or if NATO develops military infrastructure there, we will hold a gun to America’s head. We have the military capability.’
Russia is ‘one hundred per cent’ willing to use force to defend its red lines, Mr Kiselyov added, saying that it is a ‘matter of life or death’ for his country.
He also warned of the risk of a repeat of the Cuban Missile Crisis if NATO deploys missiles in regions where they can quickly strike Moscow. Kiselyov said;
‘It would be good to harmonise our interests and not put Russia in a position where missiles could reach us in four minutes.
‘Russia is ready to create a comparable, analogous threat, by deploying its weapons close to decision-making centres.
‘But we are suggesting a way of avoiding this, of not creating threats. Otherwise, everyone will be turned into radioactive ash.’