Putin: Russia could aim nuclear missiles at Ukraine if it joins NATO

Russia could aim nuclear missiles at Ukraine if the former Soviet republic joins NATO and accepts the deployment of anti-missile defenses on its territory, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday. Speaking at a news conference in Moscow after holding four hours of talks with Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko, Putin said that Ukraine's aspirations to join NATO would restrict its sovereignty. "That of course is Ukraine's internal process ... and we don't have the right, and we won't, interfere in this process," Putin said. But "that raises the question for Russia of the need for retaliatory actions." "It's frightening not just to talk about, but even to think about, that in response to such deployment, the possibility of such deployments - and one can't theoretically exclude these deployments - that Russia will have to point its warheads at Ukrainian territory," he said.