Putin says he would mull options if West refuses guarantees on Ukraine – Times of India

Putin says he would mull options if West refuses guarantees on Ukraine – Times of India

MOSCOW: Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Sunday he would ponder a slew of options if the West fails to meet his push for security guarantees precluding Nato’s expansion to Ukraine. Earlier this month, Moscow submitted draft security documents demanding that Nato deny membership to Ukraine and other former Soviet countries and roll back its military deployments in central and eastern Europe.
Putin has urged the West to move quickly to meet the demands, warning that Moscow will have to take “adequate military-technical measures” if the West continues its “aggressive” course “on the threshold of our home”. Asked to specify what Moscow’s response could be, he said “it could be diverse”, adding without elaboration that “it’ll depend on proposals military experts submit to me.”
The US and its allies have refused to offer Russia the kind of guarantee on Ukraine that Putin wants, citing Nato’s principle that membership is open to any qualifying country.
Putin said that Russia submitted the demands in the hope of a constructive answer from the West. “We didn’t do it just to see it blocked… but for the purpose of reaching a negotiated diplomatic result that would be fixed in legally binding documents,” Putin said.
He reaffirmed that Nato membership for Ukraine or the deployment of weapons there is a red line for Moscow. “We have nowhere to retreat,” he said, adding that Nato could deploy missiles in Ukraine that would take just four or five minutes to reach Moscow. “They have pushed us to a line that we can’t cross.”

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