US has opened door to Ukraine becoming a member of NATO navy bloc, Putin says, warning West may station rockets ‘under Russia’s nose’

The Pentagon chief’s current go to to Kiev have to be seen as a precursor to Ukraine becoming a member of NATO, Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed, saying the bloc may use coaching as a pretext to station rockets within the nation.

Speaking to delegates on the Valdai Discussion Club in Sochi on Thursday, Putin stated {that a} journey earlier this week by US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin may “open the door” for the Eastern European nation to grow to be a member of the pact.

However, the president went on, the US-led bloc doesn’t even want to admit Ukraine with a purpose to step up its presence on the 2 international locations’ shared border.

“Formal membership in NATO ultimately may not happen, but the military development of the territory is already underway,” Putin stated. “And this really poses a threat to the Russian Federation.”

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According to him, it’s conceivable that NATO may station navy {hardware} like missiles near Russia beneath the guise of coaching facilities, quickly destabilizing the scenario.

“Tomorrow, rockets could appear near Kharkov, what are we going to do about it? It’s not us placing our missiles there, it’s them shoving theirs under our nose,” he added.

Putin went on to say that NATO had taken benefit of the reunification of Germany in 1990 to stage an influence seize. “Everyone from all sides said that after the unification, in no circumstances would NATO infrastructure move toward the East, Russia should have been able to at least rely on that. That’s what they said, there were public statements. But in practice? They lied…and then they expanded it once, and then they expanded it again,” he argued.

“Let’s see what will happen on the domestic political scene of Ukraine in the near future,” the president stated, arguing that Kiev is “deadlocked” by competing pursuits and cracking down on opponents of the federal government, like opposition chief Viktor Medvedchuk.

“They are trying to prosecute Medvedchuk for high treason,” he added. “Why? Did he steal secrets and pass them on secretly? No – it is for his public political position aimed at stabilizing the situation in the country and building relations with its neighbors, which is important for Ukraine itself.”

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Medvedchuk, the chief of the Opposition Platform – For Life is presently beneath home arrest whereas prosecutors put together a case in opposition to him for “treason and aiding terrorism.” His celebration, the second largest within the nation’s parliament, has been crucial of Ukraine’s flip towards the West since 2014 and referred to as for efforts to fix ties with Moscow.

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