President Vladimir Putin says Russia will take steps to counter NATO's expansion to nations on its borders.
In remarks made as part of a documentary film produced by American filmmaker Oliver Stone, to be aired Monday night by Russia's REN-TV, Putin suggested Russia's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine was motivated by fear over the fate of Sevastopol, where Russia's Black Sea fleet is based.
Putin said the appearance of U.S. and NATO forces in Sevastopol would have been "very serious."
He added, apparently referring to the possibility of Ukraine joining NATO: "When a country becomes a member of NATO, it is already very difficult to resist the pressure from such a large country as the United States, the leader of NATO."
Watch video report from VOA's Zlatica Hoke:
'I don't always understand'
After a country joins NATO, Putin said, "anything" can appear there, including a missile defense system, new bases and a new missile strike system.
"And what should we do? We should in this connection take countermeasures. That is, place under the threat of our missile systems those facilities which, in our opinion, begin to threaten us," he said.
"I don't always understand the logic of our partners," Putin added. "Sometimes it seems that they need to hold in submission, and establish discipline over, their own Western, so-called Atlantic camp. This requires an external enemy. Despite all the apprehensions, Iran does not amount to that."
Missiles reportedly deployed
Meanwhile, the Interfax news agency reported Monday that Russia's military has deployed state-of-the-art Bastion mobile defense missiles in Kaliningrad, located on the Baltic Sea between Poland and Lithuania.
Also Monday, Viktor Ozerov, the head of the defense committee of the Federation Council, the upper house of Russia's parliament, said Iskander ballistic missiles and S-400 air defense missiles will be deployed in Kaliningrad, which is Russia's westernmost territory.