Russian President Vladimir Putin blamed the West for escalating tensions in Europe, saying it had incorrectly assessed the outcome of the Cold War.
Speaking to senior military officials on Tuesday, Putin said Russia would respond “adequately” to any Western aggression and would develop its army further.
“Why did they expand NATO and renounce the missile defence treaties? They are to blame for what is happening now, for the tensions building up in Europe,” Putin said, reiterating his demand for guarantees from the US and its allies that NATO will not expand eastwards.
After what it regarded as its victory in the Cold War, Washington’s judgement has been clouded by euphoria, he said, leading it to poor policy choices.
According to Washington, Russia has amassed tens of thousands of troops on the border with Ukraine.
Moscow has also demanded that NATO refuse to accept the former Soviet republic as a member and guarantee that no weapons or troops will be deployed there.
That demand – contained in a proposed Russia-US security treaty and a security agreement between Moscow and NATO – was drafted amid soaring tensions over the Russian troop buildup near that has stoked fears of a possible invasion.