World

Putin issues warning to Romania, Poland over U.S. missile shield

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday warned Romania and Poland they could find themselves in the sights of Russian rockets because they are hosting elements of a U.S. missile shield that Moscow considers a threat to its security.

'We we will be forced to carry out certain measures to ensure our security,' Russian president says

Vladimir Putin inspects the honour guard during his arrival at the Athens international airport on Friday. During his visit, the Russian president issued a warning against Romania and Poland because they are hosting elements of a U.S. missile shield that Moscow considers a threat to its security. (Thanassis Stavrakis/Associated Press)

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday warned Romania and Poland they could find themselves in the sights of Russian rockets because they are hosting elements of a U.S. missile shield that Moscow considers a threat to its security.

Putin issued his starkest warning yet over the missile shield, saying that Moscow had stated repeatedly that it would have to take retaliatory steps but that Washington and its allies had ignored the warnings.

Earlier this month the U.S. military — which says the shield is needed to protect from Iran, not threaten Russia — switched on the Romanian part of the shield. Work is going ahead on another part of the shield, in Poland.

"If yesterday in those areas of Romania people simply did not know what it means to be in the crosshairs, then today we will be forced to carry out certain measures to ensure our security," Putin told a joint news conference in Athens with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

"It will be the same case with Poland," he said.

Putin did not specify what actions Russia would take, but he insisted that it was not making the first step, only responding to moves by Washington.

"We won't take any action until we see rockets in areas that neighbour us."

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.