NOVO-OGARYOVO, June 16. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday he sees no real threat in the West’s statements about possible deployment of weapons in Europe, since the missile defense system deployment is a bigger threat.
"I’d refrain from whipping up emotions. Of course, we will analyze everything but so far I see nothing that might prompt us to do that [take response measures]," he told a news conference. "It’s rather all about political signals to Russia, in its relations with the European Union."
"We are more worried over the deployment of the missile defence system," he said.
Putin said Russia has all the grounds to take response measures. "If anyone threatens Russia’s territory, it must aim its weapons at those countries the threat is coming from," he said. "It is NATO that is approaching our borders, not vice versa."
At the same time, the Russian president stressed that Russia posed no threat to anyone, including Finland. "The best guarantee of Finland’s security is its neutral status," Putin said.
Shortly after reports about Washington’s plans for deploying 1,200 tanks, armored personnel carriers and other military vehicles organic to a force of 5,000 officers and men the United States on Monday declared it had plans for redeploying to Europe a contingent of fifth generation F-22 Raptor fighter jets. Speaking at the 51th international aerospace show at Le Bourget the Secretary of the US Air Force, Deborah Lee James, said that was necessary to show muscle to Russia. Earlier, the United States stepped up the air patrolling of the Baltic Sea and deployed B-2 and B-52 bombers in Britain.
The US has announced plans to reject the deployment of the fourth stage of the missile defense system in Europe and to refocus towards protection against potential North Korea missile attacks. Infographics by TASS