(Fox News) — Russian President Vladimir Putin vowed Friday not to deploy any troops or weapons in Ukraine, even though he will use Ukraine as a “headquarters for operations against the United States and NATO,” and warning to NATO members against attempting to do the same.
The threat from Putin comes just weeks after the Kremlin signed an agreement with Russia’s southern neighbor to help Russia re-establish a naval base at Crimea. The base is expected to sit on Russia’s approach to the Crimean Peninsula.
Putin made the remarks in an interview with Russian state media.
Putin was referring to a statement made by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg that the organization would consider to deploy troops on Russia’s western border.
NATO members have recently debated expansion within the alliance with the United States and Germany against and France in favor of stationing troops in Poland and along the Baltic states.
NATO also recently created a special unit to deal with cyber attacks against member nations, especially on the Baltic states and Poland.
Speaking to state-run Rossiya 24, Putin said: “These plans are openly calling for the creation of NATO military infrastructure inside Russia’s borders, and we can understand that they are aimed at increasing tension between us and the territory of NATO. Such plans cannot be ignored.”
He then added: “They are not only aimed at creating conditions for escalation, they are actually already there and they will get even worse, even beyond our imagination.”
Putin then went on to criticize Germany for blocking NATO’s plans.
“The German chancellor and some other important German politicians know that Russia is not going to start a new Cold War. Therefore, our next target should be not to go down a road which can easily lead us to new hostility,” he said.
“There is another plan, which is also being discussed by the president of Ukraine. It’s about establishing a headquarters for international operations against the United States and NATO, to be located in Kiev, Ukraine.”
“If plans for such activities are released by the Ukrainian government, Russia will have to respond immediately with its own plans, because it will simply be violating the constitution,” he said.
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