The West’s imposing sanctions on Moscow is like a declaration of war, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday.
Speaking at a meeting with women employees of some Russian airlines ahead of the International Women's Day on March 8, Putin said many problems Russia is facing are means of the fight against the country.
"A lot of what is happening, what we are facing, are ways of fighting Russia. The sanctions that are being imposed are akin to a declaration of war, but, thank God, it hasn't come to that yet," he said.
Putin warned that any attempt to introduce a no-fly zone over Ukraine would be joining the conflict.
"Now we hear that it is necessary to establish a no-fly zone over the territory of Ukraine. It is impossible to do this on the territory of Ukraine itself, it is possible only on the territory of some neighboring states.
"But any movement in this direction will be considered by us as participation in the armed conflict of the country from whose territory threats to our servicemen will be created.
"We will immediately consider them as participants of the military conflict, and it doesn't matter which organizations they are members of," he stressed.