Russian President Vladimir Putin has taken warlike rhetoric to a new level, threatening to send troops into a number of NATO countries, including Poland, an influential German newspaper reported Thursday.
“If I wanted, in two days I could have Russian troops not only in Kiev, but also in Riga, Vilnius, Tallinn, Warsaw and Bucharest,” Mr. Putin allegedly told Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso in a private meeting, Munich’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported.
The alleged threat echoes reports by several media outlets in early September of Mr. Putin saying to Mr. Barroso that he could “take Kiev in two weeks,” if he wanted.
Bloomberg reported Thursday that many news outlets and European officials have been reticent to discuss the German paper’s story due to concerns that Mr. Poroshenko may be trying to parlay international outrage into Ukrainian aid.
If Russia were to send troops into the capitals of NATO members, then it would have sever consequences — the military alliance’s treaty states “an attack on one is an attack on all.”