Russia to Ukraine: Don't Join NATO, Or Else

...We may aim nuclear missiles at you
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Feb 12, 2008 9:53 PM CST
Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and his Ukrainian counterpart Viktor Yushchenko shake hands during their meeting in the Kremlin in Moscow, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2008. Putin said today that if Ukraine...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – If Ukraine joins NATO and hosts the US missile-defense program, Russia may aim nuclear missiles at its neighbor, Vladimir Putin said today in a press conference with Ukranian president Viktor Yushchenko. Russia’s president claimed that “it is horrible to say and even horrible to think” that such measures might be necessary, reports the Washington Post.

The country has issued similar warnings to the Czech Republic and Poland, countries that are also considering supporting the US program; Russians have argued that the program is really a US scheme to spy on and weaken their country. But, Yushchenko insisted, “anything Ukraine is doing in the western direction is on no account aimed against some third country, not to mention Russia.”