Vladimir Putin is no stranger to controversy but even this is taking things a little bit further than usual for the President of Russia.
Speaking at a conference in Athens recently, Putin sent out a warning to Romania and Poland saying that they are ‘in the cross-hairs’ because they are currently hosting different parts of a U.S. missile shield, which Russia considers to be a threat to their national security.
According to The Independent, the Russians have warned that they will take action if changes to the missile shield are not made, however, the U.S. continues to argue that the shield is in place to protect itself from Iran, not Russia.
Just this month, the Romanian part of the defence system was switched on and there is a lot of work going on to get the Polish part up and running in the near future.
Speaking to reporters at the conference, Putin said:
If yesterday in those areas of Romania people simply did not know what it means to be in the cross-hairs, then today we will be forced to carry out certain measures to ensure our security. It will be the same case with Poland.
Putin added that they would not take action ‘until we see rockets in areas that neighbour us’, while arguing against the claim that the shield was to defend against Iran.
Putin argued that this was merely impossible as the international program going on to curb Iran’s nuclear program had reached a conclusion.
We’ve been repeating like a mantra that we will be forced to respond… Nobody wants to hear us. Nobody wants to conduct negotiations with us.
I have to say that in this instance I can’t really argue against Putin. Although he’s said that action will be taken if necessary, he has also said that nothing will be done until rockets are neighbouring his country while raising some valid points.
I think the majority of countries would want to take action if there were missile shields belonging to countries thousands of miles away essentially in their back garden.
Joseph Loftus is a Gold Standard NCTJ journalist with four years experience working for international and regional press.
As well as working for UNILAD and LADbible, Joseph has worked as Liverpool Correspondent for Unsigned & Independent Magazine, as well as stints with the Liverpool Echo and Warrington Guardian.