Stoltenberg Shrugs Off Putin’s Warnings About NATO Weapons Striking Targets Inside Russia

Putin has warned of 'serious consequences'

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on Friday shrugged off warnings from Russian President Vladimir Putin against NATO countries allowing Ukraine to strike Russian territory with Western weapons.

“This is nothing new. It has … been the case for a long time that every time NATO allies are providing support to Ukraine, President Putin is trying to threaten us to not do that,” Stoltenberg told reporters during a NATO foreign ministers meeting in Prague. “And an escalation – well, Russia has escalated by invading another country.”

Stoltenberg’s comments came after the US and several other NATO countries gave Ukraine the greenlight to strike Russian territory near Kharkiv. The step marks a significant escalation in the proxy war and could provoke a major response from Russia despite Stoltenberg downplaying the risks.

Putin warned there would be “serious consequences” for any NATO countries that lift the restriction on Ukraine’s use of its weapons. Moscow previously warned the UK that it would respond to Ukraine using British weapons on Russian territory with strikes on UK military sites in Ukraine “and beyond.”

Russia has already significantly escalated its operations in Ukraine in response to Ukrainian attacks on its territory. For example, Russia did not begin major strikes on Ukrainian infrastructure until after the first bombing of the Crimean Bridge in October 2022.

Putin has also said that Russia’s new offensive in Kharkiv is a response to Ukrainian attacks on Russia’s Belgorod Oblast, which borders Kharkiv. He said the purpose of the offensive was to create a “buffer zone” to prevent attacks on Belgorod.

Over the weekend, Russia launched a major barrage of strikes against Ukrainian infrastructure, which could be related to the latest escalations from NATO. Due to the bombing, Ukraine imposed emergency power shutdowns across most of the country on Sunday.

Author: Dave DeCamp

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