Russian President Vladimir Putin has made it clear today that his country will be responding against the recent US move of deploying a ground-based missile defense system in Romania.

Putin threatened NATO during a news conference held in Athens after he met with Greek Prime Minister Aleksis Tsipras. He is in Greece in what is widely viewed as a visit to mend damaged relationship with the European Union.

Putin’s threat to NATO is a stark contrast to Obama’s current visit to Japan wherein the US President was calling for a nuclear free world.

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The Russian President said, “If yesterday in those areas of Romania people simply didn’t know what it means to be in the cross hairs, then today we will be forced to carry out certain measures to ensure our security,” CNN reports.

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Romania and Poland

The US ground-based missile defence system was deployed earlier this month in NATO run system in a Romanian military base at Deveselu, Romania.

A similar anti-missile platform is also being planned to be deployed in Poland.

This system is intended to shield Europe in possible attacks by countries considered as rogue states such as Iran.

NATO Denies Targeting Russia

NATO denies targeting Russia and issued a statement which said that Russia is well aware that the Ballistic Missile Defense system is only defensive and neither designed nor directed against Russia.

NATO called the threat “unjustified” and “irresponsible,” according to CNN.

Putin however is not buying this justification. “NATO fend us off with vague statements that this is no threat to Russia… That the whole project began as a preventive measure against Iran’s nuclear program. Where is that program now? It doesn’t exist,” RT quoted him as saying.

Putin Acting on His Threats

Military analyst Lt. Col. Rick Francona (ret.), speaking on CNN, said that Putin has a track record of acting on his threats that is why NATO and the US will have to take his statement seriously.

But Francona added that he does not think Putin “…wants to get into an armed confrontation with NATO.”