Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that Russia is prepared to take military steps in response to unfriendly Western actions over the Ukraine conflict. He also called for serious negotiations on Russian security demands during his first call with new German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who in turn called for “de-escalation”.
The Russian president has for weeks accused the United States and the Washington-led NATO military alliance of stoking tensions near Moscow’s borders. But this was his first comment hinting at potential conflict.
Putin told defence ministry officials yesterday that if the West continued its aggressive stance, Russia will take “appropriate retaliatory military-technical measures”. He said that he wanted to underscore that Russia has every right to do so.
The United States has been sounding the alarm since mid-November that Moscow could be planning a large-scale attack on its ex-Soviet neighbour Ukraine. US President Joe Biden had also warned Putin of unprecedented sanctions.
Russia denied plotting any invasion and has demanded legal guarantees over its security from the United States and NATO, demanding the alliance stop an eastward expansion.