Putin Slams US for Deploying Missiles to Russia’s ‘Doorstep’

The US and Russia will start talks on security guarantees in January

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday slammed the US for its military expansion in Eastern Europe as Russia is seeking guarantees that NATO won’t move further east.

“We have made it clear that Nato’s move to the east is unacceptable,” Putin said at an annual year-end press conference. “The United States is standing with missiles on our doorstep. Is it an excessive requirement not to install shock systems at our house? How would the Americans react if missiles were placed at the border with Canada or Mexico?”

Putin pointed out that at the end of the Cold War, the US said NATO wouldn’t expand. “Sometimes it seems we are living in different worlds,” he said. “They said they wouldn’t expand, but they are expanding,” he said.

Since the end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, NATO has grown from 16 member states to 30, including some former Soviet states. A major demand of Putin’s is for NATO to formally rescind a promise made in 2008 that Ukraine would eventually become a member of the military alliance.

The US and Russia have agreed to begin talks on Russia’s proposed security guarantees in January, although a date hasn’t yet been set. “American partners tell us that they are ready to launch this discussion, these talks in Geneva at the very beginning of next year. Both sides’ representatives have been appointed. I hope that the situation will unfold exactly under this scenario,” Putin said.

Besides the calls to halt NATO’s eastward expansion, Russia wants mutual agreements on the deployment of nuclear weapons and other military assets in Eastern Europe. The US has signaled it’s willing to negotiate with Moscow on the issues but has called some of the Russian demands “unacceptable.”

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of Antiwar.com, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.