Putin: West not taking ‘red lines’ seriously enough

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned on Thursday that the West is not taking Russia’s warnings not to cross its “red lines” seriously enough amid rising tensions over Ukraine, Reuters reports. 

Putin reiterated Russia’s “red-lines” warning in a speech to foreign policy officials in Moscow, saying that discussions to resolve the conflict in eastern Ukraine were heading to a dead end. 

Putin’s warning comes as the head of NATO said Monday that the military alliance is closely monitoring the movement of Russian forces close to Ukraine’s borders and is concerned about a possible invasion similar to the one in 2014.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Nov. 13 that about 100,000 Russian soldiers and heavy equipment, including tanks, were being moved close to the shared border with Ukraine, according to Reuters.

However, Russia has denied that the military build-up is a sign of a possible invasion and said in a statement last week that “the movement of troops on our territory shouldn’t be a cause for anyone’s concern.”

Putin’s latest “red line” warning did not include specifics on what those lines are, saying only that for “every single case we will determine where that red line is.”

Russia’s president also accused the West of using the migrant crisis on the Polish border against Moscow’s close ally, Belarus, the report said. The West has accused Russia of helping Belarus foment the crisis in retaliation for sanctions against Belarus following its 2020 election. 

Putin further criticized NATO in his speech and said it had destroyed all mechanisms for dialogue, per Reuters. 

In October, Russia announced that it would stop its diplomatic mission to NATO following the alliance’s expulsion of eight Russians accused of being spies. 

This is not the first time Putin has issued vague warnings to the Western bloc. In April, Putin cautioned the West and said anyone who crosses a “red line” will be met with a harsh response.

“If someone interprets our good intentions as indifference or weakness and is willing to cross a red line, they should know that Russia’s response would be asymmetric, fast and tough,” Putin said at the time. 

Tags Belarus-Poland migrant crisis Russia-NATO relations Russia–United States relations Vladimir Putin

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