Putin warns the West against building US troops and says Moscow will take military revenge with “unfriendly steps” – archyde

For weeks the Kremlin has been warning that it will take action if Western powers penetrate Russia’s borders, but this was the first time Putin publicly intervened

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BRUSSELS and MOSCOW – Vladimir Putin said Tuesday Russia was ready to take “military action” in response to “aggressive” Western actions in Ukraine, signifying a marked escalation in rhetoric about the growing crisis.

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At a meeting of the Defense Ministry, the Russian President promised “to react harshly to unkind steps” and accused the US and NATO of fueling tensions.

The Kremlin has been warning for weeks that it will take action if Western powers invade Russia’s borders, but this was the first time Putin publicly intervened.

“We are concerned about the establishment of the US and NATO forces right near the Russian border and the conduct of large-scale exercises, including unplanned ones,” said Putin.

He told Russian Defense Ministry officials that if the West continued its “apparently aggressive stance”, Moscow would have no choice but to strike back with “appropriate military-technical retaliatory measures”.

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His intervention comes amid growing concerns that Russia is preparing a large-scale attack on neighboring Ukraine.

The United States and its NATO allies have accused the Kremlin of stationing more than 100,000 soldiers near the border with eastern Ukraine, where Kiev has been fighting Russian separatists since 2014, for the alliance’s forces to be withdrawn from the former Soviet states.

Putin said he was “extremely concerned” about US cruise missile deployments in Poland and Romania.

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“If this infrastructure continues – if US and NATO missile systems show up in Ukraine – their approach time to Moscow will be cut to seven or ten minutes,” he said.

Despite the threat of conflict, the Russian president said Moscow’s demands were not an “ultimatum”.

“Russia is against bloodshed, it wants to solve problems through political and diplomatic means, but with security guarantees,” he said.

At the same meeting, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu accused American companies of “preparing a chemical provocation in eastern Ukraine”.

He added that the United States had about 8,000 soldiers stationed in Eastern Europe.

The US is expected to start talks with Russia about its security demands next year in order to find a diplomatic solution to ease tensions.

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Soldiers of the Ukrainian Armed Forces participate in military exercises at a rifle range in the Kharkiv region of Ukraine, as seen in this handout picture dated December 20, 2021.
Soldiers of the Ukrainian Armed Forces participate in military exercises at a rifle range in the Kharkiv region of Ukraine, as seen in this handout picture dated December 20, 2021. 92nd Separate Mechanized Brigade handout / press service photo via Reuters

Karen Donfried, US Assistant Secretary of State, said: “We are ready to discuss the proposals that Russia has put on the table.

“There are some things we are ready to work on and we believe it would be useful to have a discussion.”

NATO has also signaled that it is ready to start talks. The North Atlantic Council, the alliance’s decision-making body, said last week it was “ready for meaningful dialogue with Russia … on a reciprocal basis.”

Western diplomats have warned against allowing Russia to set the rules for engaging in discussions.

Andrea Sasse, spokeswoman for the German Foreign Ministry, said: “We will discuss these proposals that are currently on the table with all of our partners in the EU and NATO.

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“It is important that we in our dialogue [with Russia] for now we are staying true to our own principles.

“And one of them is the indivisibility of the security of all NATO member states. And that has consequences for what we can and cannot accept. “

Meanwhile, the UK and US have reportedly sent cybersecurity experts to Ukraine over fear of a Kremlin-led cyber attack on the country’s electricity grid.

Russian hackers are said to have easy access to the network because it was built when Ukraine was a member of the Soviet Union and connected to Moscow.

“There is too much to patch,” an American official told the New York Times, suggesting that there was no quick fix for the system.

Sources told the newspaper that they are on high alert after Russia hacked into Ukraine’s electricity grid again in December 2015, which resulted in blackouts for 230,000 households.

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Reference-www.nach-welt.com

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