Putin hits back as NATO warns Moscow against attacking Ukraine

  • Western alarm grows among Russian troops build-up
  • Putin: Moscow would not accept NATO missiles in Ukraine
  • NATO alliance ministers meet in Latvia
  • Moscow denies any aggressive intentions

RIGA/MOSCOW, Nov. 30 (Reuters) – Russia would pay a lot price for each new military aggression against Ukraine, NATO and United States warned on Tuesday as the Western military alliance met to over Moscow to talk possible motives for to gather troops at the Ukrainian border.

President Vladimir Putin objected that Russia would be forced in to intervene if the US-led NATO were to deploy missiles in Ukraine that could hit Moscow in minutes.

Ukraine, a former soviet republic die now aspires to join the European Union and NATO, has become the main flashpoint between Russia and the West as relations have soured to their worst level in the three decades since the end of the Cold War.

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“There will be a high price Pay for Russia if she once again use force against the independence of the nation of Ukraine,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken echoed Stoltenberg, saying: “Any escalating action by Russia would be a… great concern for the United States…, and any renewed aggression would… trigger serious consequences.”

Tensions have been rising for to soften, with Russia, Ukraine and NATO all together military exercises in the midst of mutual blame over die side is the aggressor.

Putin went further than before in spelling out Russia’s “Red Lines” on Ukraine, die says it should respond if NATO deploys advanced missile systems on his neighbor’s land.

“Like a of strike systems appear on the territory of Ukraine, the flight time to Moscow will be 7-10 minutes and five minutes in the case of a hypersonic weapon is deployed. Just imagine,” said the Kremlin leader.

“What must we do? in such a scenario? We’ll have to make something similar then in relation to die who to threaten us in Which way. And we can do that now,” he said, pointing to Russia’s recent tests of a hypersonic weapon he said could fly at nine o’clock times the speed of sound.

EU and other western leaders are involved in a geopolitical dragof-war with Russia for influence in Ukraine and two other ex-Soviet republics, Moldova and Georgia, via trade, collaboration and protection arrangements.


NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg poses with foreign ministers for An family photo during a NATO summit of foreign ministers in Riga, Latvia Nov 30, 2021. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

NATO foreign ministers started two days of talk in the Latvian capital Riga to debate over what they believe to be the growing Russian threat, with Shine for briefing its 29 alliance counterparts on Washington’s intelligence assessment.

Shine, speaking on a news conference with his Latvian counterpart, said he will have more say on Wednesday on how to respond to Russia after holding talks with NATO allies.

“We will consult closely with…allies and partners in the next few days…over of there are others steps That we should take as an alliance to strengthen our defenses, strengthen our resilience, strengthen our capacity,” he said.

Ukraine Prime Minister Denys Shmygal accused Russia of try to overthrow the elected government in Kiev, what the Kremlin denies, after the Ukrainian president last week revealed what he said was a coup attempt.

shmygal also said Ukraine would search more weapons from the United States – exactly the course of action die Putin has warned against. read more

The Kremlin annexed the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and then supported rebels die fought government troops in the East of the country. That conflict killed 14,000 people people, said Kiev, and is still simmering.

In May, Russian troops on Ukraine’s borders numbered 100,000, the most since the takeover of Crimea, Western officials say. Ukraine says there are more than 90,000 there now.

Moscow has Ukrainian suggestions die it prepares dismissed as seditious for An attack, said it doesn’t threaten anyone and defended his right to troops in to put on its own territory as it pleases.

Britain and Germany repeated NATO warnings.

“We will stand with our fellow democracies against malicious activity by Russia,” said the British minister from State Department Liz Truss.

The German minister of Foreign Affairs Heiko Maas said: “NATOs support for Ukraine is unbroken…Russia should pay a high price price for any kind of aggression.”

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Additional reporting by John Chalmers in Brussels; writing by Gabriela Baczynska, Robin Emmott and Mark Trevelyan; edit by Mark Heinrich

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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