As though fourteen states in Eastern Europe have not been absorbed into NATO and been transformed into military outposts on or near Russia’s borders starting a few months before Putin became his nation’s leader.
He almost certainly is obliquely alluding to – as candid or assertive as he allows himself to be – Ukraine, without embarrassing his valued partners, esteemed colleagues, cherished friends in the U.S. and NATO by mentioning the name.
If it would prove of any use, someone could remind him that if NATO expanded any further eastward by land or sea from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Norway, Bulgaria and Romania it would be on Russian territory.
Time for him to identify a new red line. Has anyone counted which one that would be? Somewhere in the scores if not hundreds surely.


From today’s Interfax.

Putin proposes beginning substantive talks to guarantee NATO won’t expand eastward

Russia will insist in the course of dialogue with the United States and NATO on achieving solid agreements ruling out the eastward expansion of NATO, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

“…We will insist in the course of dialogue with the United States and its allies on the elaboration of specific agreements that will rule out any kind of further eastward expansion by NATO and the deployment of weapons threatening us in the close vicinity of Russian territory,” Putin said.

Putin invited Western partners “to begin substantive negotiations on this issue.” “Please note that we need formal, legal guarantees of security,” he said, adding that Western partners have refused to keep the relevant verbal promises, “such as verbal assurances on NATO not expanding eastward.”

We don’t demand any special terms for ourselves, as we realize that any agreements should be concluded with due account of the interests of Russia and all Euro-Atlantic states,” he said.

“Russia is interested in building constructive interaction in the development of equal international cooperation, and this remains the chief postulate of Russia’s foreign policy. Hopefully, you will deliver this message to the leaderships of your countries,” Putin told foreign ambassadors.