Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday said he would consider a range of options if the US and NATO refuse to provide Moscow with security guarantees over NATO’s eastward expansion.
“It may vary,” Putin said of Russia’s potential response, according to Russia’s Tass news agency. “It will depend on the proposals that our military experts will make to me.”
Putin wouldn’t specify what Russia might do if the West refuses the guarantees but warned he could take “adequate military-technical measures” if NATO continues its “aggressive” course “on the threshold of our home.”
Ultimately, Russia wants to resolve the situation through negotiations. Putin said Russia put forward security proposals to the US to “reach a legally binding outcome of diplomatic talks on the documents.”
Talks between the US and Russia on the security guarantees are expected to start sometime in early January in Geneva. Besides trying to stop NATO’s eastward expansion, Russia is also seeking mutual agreements on the deployment of nuclear weapons and other military hardware in Eastern Europe.
On Saturday, Russia’s Interfax news agency reported that over 10,000 Russian troops are returning to their permanent bases after drills in the region near Ukraine, a sign Moscow could be looking to reduce tensions ahead of the Geneva talks.