The Russian president states that Moscow has no desire for a confrontation with the Western-led bloc but is prepared for any potential developments.
President Vladimir Putin stated on Saturday that Russia is always prepared for any potential scenario, particularly when it comes to a direct confrontation between the Russian and NATO militaries.
He made these remarks in response to questions about recent near-collisions involving Russian and American aircraft in Syria.
The president emphasized that nobody desires such a confrontation and highlighted the existence of conflict-prevention lines that enable direct communication between Russian and US officers during crisis situations.
The fact that these communication channels remain operational indicates that neither side is seeking a conflict. However, Putin asserted that if anyone does seek a conflict – and he clarified that it is not Russia – then they are ready to face it.
According to Admiral Oleg Gurinov, the head of the Russian Reconciliation Center for Syria, there have been a total of 23 dangerous incidents involving Russian and US-led coalition aircraft since early 2023, with most occurring in July.
In 11 instances, Russian pilots reported being targeted by Western aircraft-targeting systems, which automatically triggered the deployment of onboard defense systems, leading to the release of decoy flares by Russian aircraft.
Moscow has repeatedly cautioned Washington and its allies about the potential risks of a direct conflict between Russia and NATO, particularly given the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
Russia has criticized the continued supply of Western arms to Kiev, as it believes this prolongs hostilities and further entangles Western backers in the conflict.