MOSCOW, February 1. /TASS/. NATO cheated Russia with pledges not to expand eastward by any inch, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday.
"I would like to explain once again the logic of our behavior and our proposals [on security guarantees]: as is known, we were given pledges that NATO would not move its infrastructure further eastward by any inch and this is well known about," the head of the Russian state said at a press conference, following his talks with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban in the Kremlin on Tuesday.
"Today we see where NATO is: Poland, Romania, the Baltic states. They said one thing and did another thing. As our saying goes, we were cheated and simply deceived," Putin said.
After that, the United States quit the ABM (Anti-Ballistic Missile Defense) Treaty, the Russian leader recalled.
"We persuaded them for long not to do that. This is one of the underlying, fundamental treaties for providing global security. Nonetheless, the United States did what it did: it quit the treaty and now ABM launchers are based in Romania and are being created in Poland, if not already created," Putin said, outlining the current situation.
As the Russian leader pointed out, MK-41 launchers stationed in those countries can have Tomahawk strike systems mounted on them. These strike systems can cover thousands of kilometers of Russian territory, he stressed. "Isn’t it a threat to us?" Putin said.