Russia has no space to back down in a standoff with the United States over Ukraine and will be compelled to take a firm stance unless the West abandons its "aggressive stance," Reuters said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin renewed his demand for reassurance from the U.S. and its allies that NATO will not initiative any military expansion eastward, blaming the West for Europe's growing frictions.
Putin made the remarks to military officials as Russia called for a swift response from the U.S. and NATO to its proposals for a binding set of security guarantees from the West.
Moscow has firmly stated it urgently needed a response from the U.S. to its broad security demands and warned once again of a possible Russian military reaction unless immediate political action was taken to allay its fears.
"If our Western colleagues' confrontational posture persists, we will take appropriate military-technical response measures and will respond strongly to unfriendly moves," Putin said in quotes by Reuters.
Putin did not specify the nature of these actions, but his language echoed that of Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, who has previously warned that Russia may reposition intermediate-range nuclear missiles in Europe in reaction to what Russia perceives to be NATO's preparations to do the same.
Russia denies accusations brought by Ukraine and the U.S. that it is preparing to invade Ukraine as soon as next month, with tens of thousands of Russian forces stationed near the country's border.
Russia has denied any such plans of military action on its neighbor, but it has demanded legal guarantees that would prevent NATO expansion and military deployment in the country.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the U.S. is working with European allies to combat "Russian aggression" through diplomacy, but that U.S. President Joe Biden opposes the guarantees requested by Putin.
Some of Russia's plans are obviously unacceptable, according to Washington, but the U.S. will react with more definite proposals on the framework of any talks in the next coming days.
Biden's national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, spoke with his Russian counterpart, Yuriy Ushakov, over the phone, according to Emily Horne, a representative for the White House National Security Council.
The President of Ukraine, Volodymr Zelenskiy said on Friday that he was willing to meet with his Russian counterpart Putin for "straight talks... we don't care in what format." However, Russia has stated repeatedly that such a meeting would be pointless without a clear agenda.