At the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed fears that Ukraine could become a NATO member and called on Western countries not to cross the “red line” in relations with Russia. If Ukraine joined NATO, missile defense systems could be deployed in its territory.
Putin expressed fears that the expansion of the North Atlantic Alliance could pose a threat to Russia. He asked NATO to treat the interests of the Russian Federation with respect.
“Not only did NATO came close to our borders, but we have a suspicion that tomorrow Ukraine will also be included in this organization, and radar and missile defense systems will be deployed on its territory,” Putin stated. “Well, there are some limits, you see—the red line cannot be crossed. Let’s also respect our interests.”
The Chairman of the Military Committee of NATO, Petr Pavel, believes that Russia itself provoked the strengthening of the Alliance’s military presence on the eastern flank after Russia invaded Ukraine, Georgia and Transnistria.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stated that the Alliance will maintain a policy of a “dual-track approach” towards Russia, which provides for strong deterrence and defense combined with dialogue. The relations between NATO and Russia also look uncertain. There is neither the Cold War nor a strategic partnership.
The alliance is now adapting and implementing the strongest reinforcement of collective defense since the Cold War, but according to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, NATO does not want a new arms race.