VT: SouthFront has been identified by the FBI as an agency of the Russian government.  Given this, true or not, the story here, if “official” is a frightening one.

SF: Russian President Vladimir Putin held his annual press conference on December 23, 2021. An expanded meeting of the Board of the Ministry of Defense took place on December 21, 2021.

“The ball is in their court.”

Putin expressed optimism toward talks with Washington on security guarantees proposed by Moscow. He called the current negotiations with the U.S. “positive” and hinted at fresh direct talks in Geneva in 2022.

But…

“Russia’s actions will depend on whether the unconditional guarantee of Russia’s security will be ensured rather than on the results of negotiations.”

“NATO’s eastward expansion is unacceptable… They lied to us. There’ve been five waves of NATO’s enlargement. And here’s the result – Romania and Poland received missile systems. We are not the ones threatening someone. We are not the ones approaching the US or British borders… The West must provide us with guarantees immediately. Now.”

“Not too much to ask”

“It was the United States that came to our home with its missiles … Is this too much to ask for? Not to place attack systems near our home? What is so unusual here?”

Earlier, Putin claimed that Moscow is; 

” extremely concerned that elements of the US global missile defense are being deployed near Russia. The Mk 41 launchers located in Romania and planned to be deployed in Poland are adapted to the use of Tomahawk systems. If this infrastructure is moved towards, if the US and NATO missile systems are deployed in Ukraine, then their flight time to Moscow will be reduced to seven to ten minutes, and when placing hypersonic weapons – up to five. This is a serious challenge for us – a challenge to our security.”

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