• Reuters


Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that Russia would be forced to aim its armed forces at any countries which might threaten it and that it was concerned about an anti-missile defense system near its borders.

“We will be forced to aim our armed forces … at those territories from where the threat comes,” he said.

Putin also said after talks with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto at a presidential residence outside Moscow that Finland’s best guarantee of security was its neutral status.

The Russian president, at odds with the West over the crisis in Ukraine and sanctions on Russia that followed, also said Russia wanted Ukraine to repay the $3 billion bailout bond under former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, according to an agreed repayment schedule.

Putin said that he thought the Minsk peace deal on Ukraine was balanced and fair, and that if Russia did not agree with its contents it would not have signed it.