Russian President Vladimir Putin told a nine-year-old boy this week that Russia, effectively, has no borders, according to news reports:
Vladimir Putin has said Russia’s borders “do not end anywhere” during a live televised awards ceremony for students in Moscow.
On stage, the Russian president asked a nine-year-old boy: “Where does Russia’s border end?” The child answered “at the Bering Strait with the United States”.
Putin subsequently told the crowd at the ceremony he was making a joke, but his comments are not likely to ease the mounting tension in Europe over Russian aggression, most recently Putin's decision to move nuclear-capable missiles closer to European border countries.
Retired U.S. General Jack Keane is on record as expressing his own discomfort with Russia's recent saber-rattling on the border of the Baltic states. He called Putin's moves an attempt, "to undermine the 'air and maritime advantage' that the US and its NATO allies hold in the Baltic region," according to the Baltic Times:
Retired US General Jack Keane has voiced concerns that Russian President Vladimir Putin is planning a military invasion of the Baltic States to challenge president-elect Donald Trump and NATO countries, the British newspaper Daily Mirror reports...
...Keane said that the deployment of troops and equipment to the region indicates that Putin may be hoping to occupy Baltics in a move echoing Russia's annexation of the Crimean Peninsula in Ukraine, notes the Daily Mirror.
Keane reportedly was offered the position of secretary of defense in President-elect Donald Trump's cabinet, but declined.
It is believed the situation in Europe regarding Russia's possible decision to invade the Baltic states may become Trump's first foreign-policy challenge and will possibly affect his choice for secretary of defense.