Closing Russia’s border with the self-proclaimed republics in the east of Ukraine would lead to a bloodbath there, says Vladimir Putin.

And Russia will never let happen, he said, according to TASS.

“As long as political issues remain unresolved, these territories do not enjoy a special status and amnesty legislation does not exist, a decision to close the border between Russia and the unrecognized republics will bring about a situation similar to the one that emerged in Srebrenica. A bloodbath will be staged there. We cannot let this happen and we will never let it happen,” Putin said during a panel at the Valdai International Discussion Club.

He also said that EU member-states, by supporting Kosovo, themselves launched the rise in separatist aspirations in Europe.

“The situation in Spain shows how fragile stability can be even in a developed country. Who could have expected that the discussion about the status of Catalonia would grow into such a harsh political crisis?,” Putin said.

According to him, Europe’s different attitudes towards Kosovo, Crimea and Catalonia are an example of its double standards.

“In the situation with Catalonia, we have seen the unanimous condemnation of the European Union and a number of other states, of the supporters of independence. That should have been considered before. In the past, they effectively welcomed the collapse of a whole series of states in Europe, without concealing their joy. Why was it necessary to, in such an ill thought-out way, proceeding from the current situation and the desire to please the ‘older brother’ in Washington, without any reservations support the independence of Kosovo?,” the Russian president asked.