German newspaper, Süddeutsche Zeitung reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin told Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko that if he “wanted to, Russian troops could be, not only in Kiev, but also in Riga, Vilnius, Tallinn, Warsaw and Bucharest in two days.” The comments were reported by President Poroshenko to EU Commission President José Manuel Barroso last Friday during his visit to Kiev.
Putin made similar comments directly to Barroso in August when he told the President of the EU Commission that he could “take Kiev in two weeks” if he wanted.
The German paper also reports that during his conversations with Putin, Poroshenko was warned not to place much reliance on the EU and was told that Russia could exert its influence within the European Council to block any decisions that could negatively affect Russia.
The European Council has recently softened its position on Russian sanctions led by states like Hungary and Slovakia.
Reacting to the Süddeutsche Zeitung report, Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Urmas Paet, told BNS today that “in Estonia we’re very clear about what we need to do and what we need to do with our allies, and I think that one critical component is that we can’t continuously allow our nation’s stress levels to rise, that won’t help anyone.”