Vladimir Putin commented on the publications of Western media about a possible Russian attack on Ukraine. He recalled that they talked about this at the beginning of the year, when Russia conducted the Zapad-2021 exercises, but no attack happened. The President said that Russia is not attacking, but is forced to respond to NATO’s constant approach to the country’s borders. He called the “red line” the creation of threats that will be located on the territory of Ukraine.
“It’s not about bringing in troops or not. The point is to improve relations to create a more equitable development, “- said Vladimir Putin during the investment forum” VTB Capital “” Russia is calling! ” He noted that if everyone takes into account the security interests of “all participants in international activities”, then no one will experience threats.
Vladimir Putin said that constant threats are being created for people “living in the yet unrecognized republics of the DPR and LPR,” and Russia is also under threat from military exercises, including unplanned ones. As an example, the president cited the recent NATO exercises in the Black Sea, in which, among other things, strategic bombers were used.
Speaking about the “red lines”, Vladimir Putin noted that they are largely speculative. “Relations between Russia and the Western community in the 1990s and 2000s were practically cloudless. That is why it was necessary to expand NATO to our borders? ” – said the president.
The President recalled that relations between Russia and NATO were “practically idyllic.” “We were almost allies. But in spite of our requests, in spite of our convictions, the NATO infrastructure came almost to our borders. Launchers are now deployed in Poland and Romania. This creates threats for us, ”said Mr Putin. According to him, in response, Russia was forced to start developing hypersonic weapons.
“If strike complexes are deployed on the territory of Ukraine, the flight time to Moscow will be 7-10 minutes, and if hypersonic weapons are deployed, 5 minutes,” the president said. “Then we will have to create something similar in relation to those who threaten us so. And we can do it now. Where are we going? Why are we doing this? The creation of such threats is the “red line”, ”said Vladimir Putin. At the same time, he expressed the hope that this will not come to this.
For more information on the situation in eastern Ukraine, see Kommersant’s article “Non-Normandy State of Things”.