Russian President Vladimir Putin warned on Dec. 21 that he would take military measures in response to “unfriendly” Western actions over the Ukraine conflict.
Speaking to military officials, Putin said that Russia would take “appropriate retaliatory military-technical measures” if Western countries continued its “obviously aggressive stance.”
Putin added that Russia had “every right” to “react toughly to unfriendly steps,” blaming the West for “tensions that are building up in Europe.”
Putin did not elaborate on the exact measures he said he was considering to take.
Putin’s remarks were the first at hinting a potential conflict, though he has accused the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) for weeks of escalating tensions near Moscow’s border.
However, Putin also said that he wants to avoid “bloodshed.”
“We want to resolve issues by political and diplomatic means,” Putin said.
Putin also repeatedly demanded “long-term legally binding guarantees” from the U.S. and NATO.
“You and I know well that even they, legal guarantees, cannot be trusted because the United States easily withdraws from all international agreements it loses interest in for one reason or another… giving no explanations whatsoever,” Putin told military officials.
Putin’s demands include a ban on Ukraine entering NATO and a limit to the deployment of troops and weapons to NATO’s eastern flank.
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