Don't Provoke Us: Putin Warns Small and Densely Populated European Nations

Russia | May 29, 2024, Wednesday // 09:05|  views

Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a stark warning to NATO countries, especially the smaller, densely populated European nations, cautioning them about the dangers of provoking Russia. Putin emphasized that these countries should be mindful of their size and population density when discussing the possibility of strikes deep into Russian territory.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, ahead of an EU defense ministers meeting in Brussels, stated that Ukraine should be allowed to use Western-supplied weapons to target "legitimate targets" on Russian soil. He argued that without this capability, Ukrainian military personnel are constrained and unable to defend themselves effectively. Stoltenberg suggested it might be time to reconsider existing restrictions on Ukraine's use of these weapons.

The High Representative of the EU for Foreign Policy and Security, Josep Borrell, echoed Stoltenberg's sentiment but stressed that each EU member state must independently decide whether to permit Kyiv to use their weapons against targets in Russia. Borrell emphasized the responsibility that comes with such decisions.

Putin, speaking after his visit to Uzbekistan, highlighted the involvement of those supplying long-range precision weapons, like the Storm Shadow, to Ukraine. He pointed out that these systems require space reconnaissance capabilities, implying that Ukrainian personnel are not needed for target selection and flight planning. According to Putin, this task is handled by the manufacturers and suppliers of these weapons, thus suggesting direct involvement from Western entities in military operations without Ukrainian participation.

In his remarks, Putin reiterated the gravity of the situation, urging smaller European NATO countries to seriously consider the implications of their actions. His statements come amidst escalating tensions and highlight the complexities of the ongoing conflict, with international actors weighing the consequences of further military support to Ukraine.

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Tags: Putin, Russia, European, NATO

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