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Putin Addresses Defense Ministry Board Meeting on Strategic Crisis

Dec. 21, 2021 (EIRNS)—Russian President Vladimir Putin presided over an expanded meeting of the Defense Ministry Board today, during which he reported on the strategic situation facing Russia and called for the continued upgrading of the Russian military services as a major task of the Defense Ministry. Putin particularly warned against the NATO exercises and the further development of NATO infrastructure, including missile defenses, near Russia’s borders. “If this infrastructure continues to move forward, and if U.S. and NATO missile systems are deployed in Ukraine, their flight time to Moscow will be only 7-10 minutes, or even 5 minutes for hypersonic systems. This is a huge challenge for us, for our security,” he said.

“We need long-term legally binding guarantees,” Putin continued, referring to the draft treaties that Russia has sent to the U.S. and NATO. “Well, we know very well that even legal guarantees cannot be completely fail-safe, because the United States easily pulls out of any international treaty that has ceased to be interesting to it for some reason, sometimes offering explanations and sometimes not, as was the case with the ABM and the Open Skies treaties—nothing at all.” He observed that NATO went through five rounds of expansion toward Russia when relations between the Alliance and Moscow “were cloudless, if not completely allied.” Not only did NATO expand, Putin explained, but the U.S. and the Alliance continued to treat Russia as a defeated power, including support for separatism in the North Caucasus region.

“Sometimes I wonder: Why did they do all this in the conditions then?” Putin asked. “This is unclear. I think the reason lies in the euphoria from the victory in the so-called Cold War, or the so-called victory in the Cold War. This was due to their wrong assessment of the situation at that time, due to their unprofessional, wrong analysis of probable scenarios. There are simply no other reasons.”

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