Putin issues harsh warning to US amid rising tensions on Ukrainian border

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Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a harsh warning to the US and its allies Wednesday to not provoke or test his military amid heightened tensions on its border with Ukraine and in the Black Sea.

The Russian leader vowed that any country that crossed Moscow’s “red line” on territorial and other issues would “regret their deeds” while delivering his state-of-the-nation address before both houses of parliament.

“I hope that no one dares to cross the red line in respect to Russia, and we will determine where it is in each specific case. Those who organize any provocations threatening our core security interests will regret their deeds more than they regretted anything for a long time,” the 68-year-old president began.

“We want good relations, and we really don’t want to burn the bridges,” he continued. “But if some mistake our good intentions for indifference or weakness and intend to burn or even blow up those bridges themselves, Russia’s response will be asymmetrical, quick and tough.”

Putin went on to denounce nations that impose “unlawful, politically motivated economic sanctions and crude attempts to enforce its will on others,” appearing to reference sanctions just placed on the Kremlin by President Biden.

The White House did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment on the warning.

Since the Soviet Union broke up in 1991, Russia has supported pro-Russian insurgents in neighboring republics — including shoring up allied breakaway states in Georgia and Moldova.

Putin presided over the annexation of Crimea in 2014 without Ukraine’s consent in a rare present-day boundary change by force.

Russian troop deployments are often murky, but Putin’s government is believed to have deployed troops to Crimea to facilitate the 2014 annexation and to have secretly supported a pair of breakaway provinces in eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region.

The Kremlin has continued to increase its military presence in the region, specifically with its naval ships in the Black Sea.

Biden declared a national emergency in the region last Thursday, slapping sanctions on more than three dozen people in Russia and expelling 10 diplomats.

At the same time, he scrapped plans to send two US warships to the Black Sea.

Putin’s remarks Wednesday come one day after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky invited Putin to meet him in the Donbas region for peace talks.

“Mr. Putin, I am ready to go even further and invite you to meet in any part of the Ukrainian Donbas where war is ongoing,” Zelensky said in a 13-minute speech uploaded Tuesday.

“Once, the president of the Russian Federation said ‘if a fight is inevitable, you need to strike first.’ But in my opinion, today every leader must understand that a fight cannot be inevitable when we’re not talking about back alleys and hooligans, but a real war and millions of human lives. And unlike in a fight, in a war, all sides lose.”

News of the meeting invite came as the Russian military continues to ramp up its fighter jets and other gear, according to satellite imagery released this week from the Morozovsk airbase.

Pictures from the scene show 15 fighter jets on the tarmac, awaiting orders to head toward the border.

With Post wires

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