The Kremlin sees the British defense secretary's remark comparing Russia to Islamic State as devoid of common sense.
"The person who could say this is unlikely to understand what kind of substance he is talking about," Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov told the Russian News Service in commenting on British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon's remark to the effect that Russian President Vladimir Putin poses "as great a threat to Europe as Islamic State."
British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said on Thursday Russian President Vladimir Putin posed a "real and present danger" to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and Nato was getting ready to repel any aggression.
Fallon, whose remarks were published as Britain said it had scrambled jets to see off Russian Bear bombers, said Putin could launch a campaign of undercover tactics to try to destabilise the three former Soviet republics, members of the Nato alliance.
"I'm worried about Putin," Fallon told the Daily Telegraph newspaper, saying there was "a very real and present danger" Russia would adopt the same tactics it used to unsettle eastern Ukraine and Crimea.
Putin is as great a threat to Europe as the Islamic State, he said, adding: ‘We’ ve got to be ready for both. They are both very direct threats to Europe.’
"I'm worried about his pressure on the Baltics, the way he is testing NATO. NATO has to be ready for any kind of aggression from Russia whatever form it takes. NATO is getting ready," he said.
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