Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday warned of a “lightning fast” response if any nation interferes in its war in Ukraine, according to multiple reports.
Putin made the threat against any country that creates “strategic threats for Russia,” CNBC reports.
“If someone intends to intervene on what is happening from the outside and creates unacceptable strategic threats for us, then they should know that our response to oncoming strikes will be swift, lightning fast,” Putin added while speaking in Saint Petersburg, reports CNN.
“We have all the tools for this, ones that no one can brag about, and we won’t brag — we will use them if needed — and I want everyone to know this. All the decisions have been made in this regard,” said Putin.
A mention in his remarks of “instruments [to respond] that no one can brag about” is reportedly speculated to be a reference to the Russia’s supply of intercontinental ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons.
Russia cut off natural gas suddenly to two NATO countries, Bulgaria and Poland, on Wednesday, in what is believed to be an attempt to punish and divide the West for its support of Ukraine.
This maneuver could push Poland and Bulgaria to ration their gas supplies and further damage their economies. However, it may also hurt Russia’s ability to fund the costly war on Ukraine.
Poland, for example, has been working to store other supplies of gas and is not in immediate trouble. The Russian state-owned company Gazprom said it shut off Polish supply because the country refused to pay in rubles, as Putin demanded.
The Kremlin has warned that other countries “unfriendly” to Russia could be next, causing European Union countries to worry, especially Germany and Italy, which buy large supplies of Russian energy.
However, the EU countries have been working to reduce their dependence on Russian energy and bolster other gas supplies.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.