- Title: Kremlin says NATO expansion in Ukraine crosses red line for Putin
- Date: 27th September 2021
- Summary: MOSCOW, RUSSIA (RECENT - SEPTEMBER 21, 2021) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF KREMLIN
- Embargoed: 11th October 2021 12:19
- Keywords: Kremlin Lukashenko NATO Putin Russia defence
- Location: MINSK, BELARUS / MOSCOW AND UNKNOWN LOCATION, RUSSIA
- City: MINSK, BELARUS / MOSCOW AND UNKNOWN LOCATION, RUSSIA
- Country: Various
- Topics: Diplomacy/Foreign Policy,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA001EWHWRIF
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Expansion of NATO military infrastructure in Ukraine crosses a red line for Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin said on Monday (September 27), saying Russia and Belarus would act to protect their own security.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko earlier on Monday warned of a joint response with Russia to military exercises involving troops from NATO member countries in neighboring Ukraine.
Ukraine is not a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation but has long sought closer integration with Western militaries in the hope of one day joining the alliance, a move opposed by Belarus' main ally, Russia.
Ukraine began joint military exercises with U.S. and other NATO member troops last week, while Russia and Belarus held large-scale drills that alarmed the West.
Lukashenko said he had discussed the situation in Ukraine with Russian President Vladimir Putin several times, and the Kremlin said on Monday that expansion of NATO military infrastructure in Ukraine crossed a red line for Putin.
"You see, they are dragging NATO troops there, to Ukraine. Under the guise of training centers, they are actually creating bases. The United States is creating bases in Ukraine. It is clear that we need to react to this," Lukashenko said at a meeting with officials in the presidential palace in Minsk.
"The Russian president and I have held and are holding consultations on this issue and have agreed that some action should be taken there. Otherwise, tomorrow we will have an unacceptable situation right on the border between Belarus and Russia."
(Production: Yury Bakhnov, Tatiana Gomozova)
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