NATO troops exercise Estonia Russia
© Raigo Pajula/AFP
NATO troops during a drill in Tapa, Estonia, May 2021
Moskva vil have forskellige scenarier med hensyn til, hvordan man skal reagere, hvis Vesten afviser sit krav om at stoppe militær ekspansion i Østeuropa.

Det siger den russiske præsident, Vladimir Putin, i et interview, som blev sendt søndag af nationalt tv.

I denne måned opfordrede Moskva USA og NATO til at underskrive traktater, der forbyder yderligere udvidelse af militærblokken. Russiske embedsmænd har gentagne gange sagt, at de ser USA-dominerede baser og anden infrastruktur inden for den tidligere Warszawapagt som en trussel.

Kommentar: Delvist oversat af fra Putin hints at Russian response if West rejects NATO security deal

Putin was asked what his government will do if the West rejects its demands.

"[Our response] can be very different," the president said, hinting that Moscow may have multiple options in mind. "It will depend on the proposals from our military experts."

Putin reiterated that Russia wants to avoid further escalation and seeks a diplomatic settlement with the US-led bloc. During his end-of-the-year press conference, on Thursday, the president stressed that Russia may be forced to retaliate to "unacceptable" NATO expansion.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that the bloc maintains an 'open door policy', meaning Ukraine and other nations are free to join the bloc if they meet certain criteria.

Despite the tensions surrounding Ukraine, Russia and NATO have expressed willingness to continue dialogue. Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said the sides are working to set up a NATO-Russia Council meeting. Deutsche Presse-Agentur reported on Sunday that Stoltenberg wants to convene the council on January 12.

In recent weeks, Western officials and media have accused Russia of gearing up for a potential invasion of Ukraine. Moscow has rejected these claims.