On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin sharply cautioned NATO against sending soldiers and weapons to Ukraine, warning that doing so would cross a red line for Russia and would result in a serious response.
He stated that Moscow is equally concerned about NATO maneuvers near its borders, in response to Western fears over Russia’s apparent desire to attack Ukraine.
I was speaking to members of an online investing community. NATO’s eastward expansion, according to Putin, has put Russia’s vital security interests at jeopardy. He voiced fear that NATO may eventually place missiles capable of reaching Moscow in less than five minutes on Ukrainian soil.
“For us, the appearance of such dangers is a’red line,'” Putin added. “I hope it never gets to that point, and that common sense and responsibility for their own nations and the global community finally triumph.”
He went on to say that Russia has been obliged to create new hypersonic weapons in order to address the mounting threats.
“How should we proceed?” Putin stated the following. “We’d have to come up with something comparable to target individuals who are posing a threat to us.” “And we can do it right now.”
He claimed that a new hypersonic missile due to enter service with the Russian navy early next year will be able to reach targets in the same amount of time.
“It would just take five minutes to reach those who provide orders,” Putin added.
The Zircon hypersonic cruise missile, which has a range of 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) and can travel at nine times the speed of sound, has completed a series of testing, the most recent of which took place on Monday.
This month, Ukrainian and Western officials voiced concern that a Russian military buildup near Ukraine may indicate Moscow’s intention to attack its former Soviet ally. On Tuesday, NATO foreign ministers cautioned Russia that further destabilizing Ukraine would be a costly mistake.
The Kremlin has denied having such intentions, accusing Ukraine and its Western allies of fabricating such assertions to hide their own purported aggressive intentions.
In 2014, Russia seized Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula after the country’s Kremlin-friendly president was ousted from office by huge demonstrations, and it also backed a separatist rebellion in Ukraine’s east.
A rise in cease-fire breaches in the east and a Russian army concentration near Ukraine sparked war worries earlier this year, but tensions eased as Moscow withdrew the majority of its units following drills in April.
To prevent tensions, Putin suggested that Russia and the West develop accords that protect each party’s security interests.
When asked if Russia will invade Ukraine, Putin answered, “The issue is not whether to send soldiers or not, whether to go to war or not, but whether to construct a more equitable and stable development while taking into consideration the security interests of all international parties.” “If we work hard enough for it, no one will be afraid of threats.”
The Russian leader expressed concern over NATO maneuvers near its borders, citing a recent exercise with US strategic bombers as one example.
“Strategic bombers with precise missiles and nuclear warheads were flying as close as 20 kilometers (12 miles) to our border,” Putin added. “For us, that poses a threat.”
Following the early this year deployment of Russian soldiers near Ukraine, Putin and US President Joe Biden met in Geneva in June and agreed to start a discussion on strategic stability and cybersecurity. Putin praised the cybersecurity talks between Russian and American specialists on Tuesday, adding that “much like the epidemic,” “it’s vital to pool efforts to work effectively.”
When asked about reports that Biden and Putin will meet next month, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday aboard Air Force One that she doesn’t have “anything to predict or preview at this point,” but that “obviously, we remain in touch as a follow-up to the summit this summer, at a high level with Russian counterparts.”
“We’re profoundly worried about the heightened rhetoric, about the reported military buildup on the border,” Psaki said in response to a question on the potential of a Russian invasion in Ukraine.
When questioned about Biden pursuing a second term in Russia, Putin replied he felt it would assist the country’s political stability. The Russian president drew a connection between his reelection aspirations and his own.
Putin said the thought of him continuing on has benefited Russia’s stability, even if he hasn’t decided whether to seek another term before his current one expires in 2024.
Since Soviet tyrant Josef Stalin, the 69-year-old president has stayed in power for more than two decades, longer than any previous Kremlin leader. Putin’s prior term limitations were reset by constitutional revisions enacted in 2020, allowing him to run for president two more times and stay in power until 2036.
“According to the constitution, I have the right to run for re-election, but I haven’t decided whether or not to do so,” Putin stated. “However, the fact that such right exists already helps to calm the internal political environment.”
In response to a question concerning China’s nuclear development, Putin stated that Russia is unconcerned, and that the tight connections between Moscow and Beijing are a “key component of world stability.”