Putin to Europe: ‘I can take Kiev in two weeks’

Putin to Europe: ‘I can take Kiev in two weeks’

[Ed. – Vlad gets peace-y.]

Vladimir Putin has boasted to European leaders that his forces could sweep into Kiev in two weeks if he wanted.

The Russian president reportedly made the threat to the European Commission president during talks on the Ukraine crisis.

Mr Putin told Jose Manuel Barroso: “If I want to, I can take Kiev in two weeks,” Italy’s La Repubblica newspaper reported, implying this could be the result if the EU stepped up sanctions against Russia.

His comments, relayed by Mr Barroso to colleagues at last weekend’s EU summit, emerged as Nato announced it would build a new “spearhead” rapid reaction force of up to 4,000 troops that can be flown into eastern Europe in 48 hours to respond to possible Russian aggression.

The EU’s new head of foreign policy, Federica Mogherini, also warned there was no military solution to what is now Europe’s biggest crisis in decades.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen, secretary general of the alliance, said Nato faced multiple crises on its southern and eastern borders that could erupt at any time. …

The summit will agree to stockpile supplies in eastern Europe so that equipment and ammunition are waiting for the force when it arrives.

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