Things in Europe are heating up with threats made by Russia President Vladimir Putin to the Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko.
In a private meeting also attended by European Commission President Jose Manuel Barraso, Putin said that Russian troops could reach multiple points in Europe in just two days. “If I wanted, in two days I could have Russian troops not only in Kiev, but also in Riga, Vilnius, Tallinn, Warsaw and Bucharest,” he said, according to German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung, citing a European Union memorandum of the meeting. While troops could move that swiftly, Putin apparently conceded that it would take up to two weeks to actually capture Kiev. Riga is the capital of Latvia, Vilnius is the capital of Lithuania, Tallinn is the capital of Estonia, Warsaw is the capital of Poland, and Bucharest is the capital of Romania. If the report is true then it would be the first time Putin has threatened to invade any NATO or European Union member countries.
“If Mr Putin were to act on this, Britain could find itself at war with Russia. All five countries mentioned in this alleged conversation are members of both the EU and NATO. They are covered by the security guarantee in Article V of Nato’s founding treaty, which states that ‘an attack on one is an attack on all,’” noted the Telegraph.
In a speech in Tallinn earlier this month, President Barack Obama confirmed NATO’s commitment to this doctrine. Obama said in that speech:
“If you ever ask again ‘Who will come to help?’ you’ll know the answer: the NATO alliance, including the armed forces of the United States of America. We’ll be here for Estonia. We will be here for Latvia. We will be here for Lithuania.”
Putin also told Poroshenko not to rely on the EU, claiming that Russia can bring about a “blocking minority” through some member states. Ukraine is working toward membership into the union. On Tuesday, it ratified a historic Association Agreement, putting it on the path towards eventual EU membership. The European Commission wouldn’t confirm or deny the meeting involving Putin, Poroshenko, and Barroso. “We will not conduct diplomacy in the press or discuss extracts of confidential conversations,” said Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen, the Commission spokesperson. “What matters to the EU and the Commission is to contribute to lasting peace, stability and prosperity in Ukraine.”
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Contributed by Zachary Stieber of The Epoch Times.