By enlarging NATO, West ‘spat upon’ Russia’s interests despite good relations, Putin says, tass.com

Even in times of having a good relationship with Moscow, Western countries did not care about its interests when enlarging NATO, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a televised interview on Rossiya-24 channel.

“As for NATO’s enlargement and the advancement of NATO infrastructure towards Russia’s borders, this is a matter of paramount significance as far as the security of Russians and Russia goes,” the president noted.

Putin recalled the two waves of NATO’s expansion to the east which took place when the relations of Russia and the West were better. […]

“Let’s imagine that Ukraine becomes a NATO member. The flight time from, let’s say, Kharkov and, I don’t know, Dnepropetrovsk to central Russia, to Moscow, will shrink to 7-10 minutes,” Putin said. “Is it a redline for us or not?” the leader asked.

He drew parallels with the deployment of missiles in Cuba which is unacceptable to the US because the flight time from the island to the US industrial center, including Washington, is 15 minutes. “To lower this flight time to 7-10 minutes, we should station out missiles on Canada’s southern border or Mexico’s northern border. Is it a redline for the US or not?” Putin pointed out.

“Somebody should think about what our reaction should be to what is essentially being proposed and discussed [NATO expansion],” he concluded. Läs artikel