Just hours after German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s agreement to a bilateral summit with President Vladimir Putin, European Council President Donald Tusk is reported to have suggested Russia could have a “special place” in the future of NATO.
Putin’s spokeswoman, who previously denied rumors of plans for a bilateral summit, is denying new rumors that he would meet with Merkel in Germany.
However, the Moscow-friendly newspaper Izvestia released an interview with the Russian president in which Putin threatened a unilateral ban on the sale of munitions to Ukraine should NATO expand.
“I have frequently said that the expansion of NATO is an indication of the end of the cold war, a kind of structural change in the security of Europe,” Putin said. “And we must note that expansion of NATO is also an immediate threat to the stability of our region. We must realize what they are all doing.”
It is unclear whether the situation has changed or what Tusk’s ideas are for the future of NATO.
Earlier Monday, Tusk announced plans for the second-ever NATO-Russia summit as well as a meeting between the presidents of Russia and Poland to discuss the Ukraine crisis and European security.
The summit is expected to take place in mid-September. The first meeting was held in April 2015, and lasted just two hours.