As we discussed yesterday, Vladimir Putin's apparent 'threat' to EU's Barroso that "If I want to, I can take Kiev in two weeks," prompted both anger and response as NATO reacted by stating a new "spearhead" force of 3-5,000 troops would be flown in to combat any (further) Russian aggression. However, Russia is not happy that the EC President leaked the conversation with Putin's aide Ushakov stating that recounting the private conversation was "inappropriate," "undiplomatic," and "unworthy of a serious political player." More troublingly, the cold-war-tension-like escalation from NATO has prompted Russia to revise its military doctrine to account for “changing military dangers and military threats.”
Vladimir Putin has boasted to European leaders that his forces could sweep into Kiev in two weeks if he wanted.
The Russian president reportedly made the threat to the European Commission president during talks on the Ukraine crisis.
Mr Putin told Jose Manuel Barroso: “If I want to, I can take Kiev in two weeks,” Italy’s La Repubblica newspaper reported, implying this could be the result if the EU stepped up sanctions against Russia.
His comments, relayed by Mr Barroso to colleagues at last weekend’s EU summit, emerged as Nato announced it would build a new “spearhead” rapid reaction force of up to 4,000 troops that can be flown into eastern Europe in 48 hours to respond to possible Russian aggression.
Which prompted 2 responses from Russia..
First, a diplomatic talking to...
Yuri V. Ushakov, an aide to Mr. Putin, said Mr. Barroso’s recounting of a private conversation was “inappropriate.”
“Whether these words were said or not, in my viewpoint, this quote given is taken out of context and it had absolutely different sense,” Mr. Ushakov said.
Disclosing details of conversation is undiplomatic, “unworthy of a serious political player”
And second, as The NY Times reports, a military one...
With NATO leaders expected to endorse a rapid-reaction force of 4,000 troops for Eastern Europe this week, a senior Russian military official said on Tuesday that Moscow would revise its military doctrine to account for “changing military dangers and military threats.”
In an interview with the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti, the official, Mikhail Popov, deputy secretary of Russia’s military Security Council, called the expansion of NATO “one of the leading military dangers for the Russian Federation.”
Mr. Popov said Russia expected that leaders of NATO would seek to strengthen the alliance’s long-term military presence in Eastern Europe by establishing new military bases in the region and by deploying tanks in Estonia, a member of NATO that borders Russia.
“We believe that the defining factor in our relationship with NATO remains the unacceptability for Russia of plans to move military infrastructures of the alliance to our borders, including by means of expanding the bloc,” Mr. Popov said.
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Furthermore, Russia appears set to release the Putin-Barroso conversation...
Russia ready to release audio recording of conversation between President Vladimir Putin and European Commission President Jose Barroso, Interfax cites Russian ambassador to European Union as saying.
Unless EU objects, Russia will distribute recording of phone talk to establish truth within 2 days, Vladimir Chizov says in letter to Barroso, Interfax reports
One can only wonder what Barroso said...
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