The Russian president has warned NATO against deploying its troops and weapons to Ukraine, saying it represents a red line for Russia and would trigger a strong response.

Iran PressEurope: Commenting on Western concerns about Russia's alleged intention to invade Ukraine, Vladimir Putin said Moscow is equally worried about NATO drills near its borders.

The Russian president said that NATO's eastward expansion had threatened Moscow's core security interests. He expressed concern that NATO could eventually use the Ukrainian territory to deploy missiles capable of reaching Russia's command centers in just five minutes.

"The emergence of such threats represents a 'red line' for us," Putin said. "I hope that common sense and responsibility for their own countries and the global community will eventually prevail."

He added that Moscow had been forced to counter the growing threats by developing new hypersonic weapons. 

Related News: 

 Russia to expand military in defiance of increased NATO activities

Ukrainian and Western officials have expressed worries this month that a Russian military buildup near Ukraine could signal plans by Moscow to invade its ex-Soviet neighbor. NATO foreign ministers warned Russia on Tuesday that any attempt to further destabilize Ukraine would be a costly mistake. 

Moscow has insisted it has no such intention and has accused Ukraine and its Western patrons of making the claims to cover up their own allegedly aggressive designs.

Earlier this year, a spike in cease-fire violations in the east and a Russian troop concentration near Ukraine fueled war fears, but tensions diminished when Moscow pulled back the bulk of its forces after maneuvers in April.
He argued that Russia and the West should negotiate agreements that would take the parties' security interests into account to avoid tensions.


Read More: 

Putin slams US, NATO military drill in Black Sea