Amid rising tensions in the region around Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday threatened a “military and technological” response if his NATO and US adversaries do not change their policies that he considers dangerous.
“In the event that our Western colleagues continue to adopt a very plainly hostile stance, we will take appropriate military and technological means of retribution,” Putin said during an intervention in front of the top brass of the Russian army and the Ministry of Defense.
According to Putin, the United States and NATO are bolstering their presence near Russia’s frontiers by arming Ukraine, providing political assistance to the country, conducting drills, and sending troops in the Black Sea, among other measures. “We have arrived at our goal, and we will not back down,” Vladimir Putin said.
Russia is accused of aggressive tendencies by the West, which points to the fact that the Russian army has massed tens of thousands of troops on the border with Ukraine, a country from which Russia has previously seized a portion of its land.
In a new address, Russian President Vladimir Putin called on the United States and NATO to provide Russia with assurances by signing treaties preventing the expansion of the Atlantic Alliance in the future. In an early December video interview, he made this assertion to US President Joe Biden.
In a recent interview, Putin said that he does not desire an “armed war, or carnage,” and instead supports a “politico-diplomatic solution.” Despite this, even if the Americans acceded to his requests, distrust would remain: “We cannot invest our faith in any legal promise since the United States is withdrawing from international accords that no longer serve their interests,” he said.
Following a series of meetings with leaders from the United States and NATO, Russia offered two treaties last week, one addressed to the United States and the other to NATO, detailing his requests for a de-escalation of hostilities in Ukraine.
These treaties were considered objectionable by a number of NATO members because they prevent NATO expansion and restrict Western military deployments and cooperation in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union while not putting equivalent restrictions on Russian military activity. Washington, on the other hand, has said that it is open to conversations but has not yet provided any specifics on its position.
At the same time, the United States and Europe have threatened Russia with unprecedented economic penalties in the event that Ukraine launches a military campaign against them. The United States and Europe, however, have said unequivocally that they would not deploy troops to protect Kyiv. As a result, these warnings of sanctions were met with a shrug of the shoulders in Moscow, particularly given the fact that no Western punitive action has ever caused the Kremlin to shift its political stance.
President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine took offense on Tuesday at the West’s unwillingness to provide a clear timeframe for Kyiv’s entrance to NATO and the European Union, as reported by Reuters. The thought of (membership in) the EU in 30 years and (membership in) NATO in about 50 years is “unacceptable to us,” he expressed.
For Ukraine, joining these alliances is critical to its long-term survival in the face of Russian expansionist aspirations. Despite its protestations, Moscow is largely seen as the godfather of pro-Russian rebels who have been at war with Kyiv for over eight years in reaction to a pro-Western revolution. In 2014, Russian indeed grabbed the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine amid loud international protests.