Putin’s list of countries Russia could invade with ‘troops there in two days’

Don’t miss a thing! Sign up to the Daily Star’s newsletter

Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine sparked fears of war spreading across the rest of Europe.

With Russia sending threats to other countries in recent weeks, those fears may not be completely unfounded.

In September 2014, Putin listed five European countries in a private threat over Russia's growing military strength.

The countries privately warned were Poland, Romania and the Baltic states – Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – which are all part of the EU, the bloc that Ukraine was also looking to join at the time.

According to German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung, Putin allegedly told then Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko: "If I wanted, in two days I could have Russian troops not only in Kyiv but also in Riga, Vilnius, Tallinn, Warsaw and Bucharest."

The statement, if made in these terms, represented the first time Putin had discussed the idea of invading an EU or NATO member state.

European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis, who is Latvian, told Politico earlier this month that Putin is likely to ramp up his military ambitions and challenge NATO in the Baltic Sea countries of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia if he is triumphant in Ukraine.

He said: “If we do not support Ukraine, it’s not going to stop in Ukraine. Clearly, Putin is now in some kind of aggressive war mood and unfortunately, it is likely that this aggression will continue in other countries."

Asked whether he was particularly worried about Moldova, he identified the Baltic countries as a concern.

To stay up to date with all the latest news, make sure you sign up to one of our newsletters here.

Mr Dombrovskis added: “If you look at escalating Russia’s aggressive rhetoric and even statements claiming Russia supporting Belarusian interests in having access to Baltic Sea, and the increasing anti-Baltic rhetoric — well in Ukraine, it also started with increasing anti-Ukrainian rhetoric."

Non-NATO countries have also been threatened as Russian foreign affairs spokesperson Maria Zakharova warned recently that Finland and Sweden could face "military consequences" if they try to join.

She said: “Obviously, the accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO, which is primarily a military alliance as you well understand, would have serious military and political consequences, which would require our country to make response steps.”

  • Military
  • Russia
  • Ukraine
  • Russia Ukraine war
  • European Union

Source: Read Full Article