Ukraine crisis: Russian president Vladimir Putin claims he could 'take Kiev in two weeks'
Outgoing president of the European Commission claims Mr Putin made remarks last week, as Nato approves emergency spearhead force
The Kremlin has confirmed president Vladimir Putin said he could "take Kiev in two weeks”, in remarks made to the outgoing president of the European commission.
However, a Russian official this morning complained Mr Barroso had breached confidentiality when he quoted Mr Putin, saying the statement was "quoted out of context and carried a completely different meaning".
Mr Putin said to Jose Manuel Barroso, who then passed the Russian leader’s remarks on to European leaders at the Nato summit over the weekend, “If I want, I take Kiev in two weeks".
Mr Barroso allegedly revealed Mr Putin’s threat after Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko, who yesterday accused Russia of “direct and undisguised aggression”, had left the summit table.
As tension increases in the region, Nato has said they will form a 4,000 strong spearhead force to go into action in 48 hours in response to Russian aggression in Ukraine.
At a pre-summit news conference, Nato secretary general Anders Fogh Rasmussen said alliance officials have drafted a detailed plan that "responds to Russia's aggressive behaviour" but also equips Nato to respond to all security challenges, wherever they may arise.
Mr Ramussen said the forces would be equipped to “travel light, but strike hard”.
Nonetheless, Frederica Mogherini, the EU’s new heady of foreign policy, warned there was no military solution for what is now Europe’s biggest crisis in decades.
Mr Barroso claims Mr Putin first made the remarks in a telephone conversation held on 29 August, when Mr Barroso held the Russian president responsible for the military action of the separatists in Ukraine.
Mr Putin interrupted saying: “The issue is not this. If I want, I can take Kiev in two weeks”.
Additional reporting by PA
- 3 The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
- 4 Phil Neville backtracks on Tomas Rosicky 'I'd smash him' comments from Match of the Day 2
- 5 British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Paris attacks: Do not call Charlie Hebdo killers 'terrorists', BBC says
UK weather: Snow to fall in the coming week with sub-zero temperatures to last until early February
Asteroid narrowly scrapes past Earth: how to watch the closest space rock for decades as it flies by
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Prince Philip set to be knighted by Australia: Celebrate by reading his greatest gaffes
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
£35000 - £43000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our award-winning client is one...
£15000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of Atlas ...
£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Opportunity to join established...
£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: On behalf of a successful academy i...