Putin accuses NATO of creating a security threat for Russia in Asia

Russia's President Putin visits Vietnam

MOSCOW (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin on Thursday accused the NATO military alliance of creating a security threat for Russia and other nations in Asia.

"We see what is happening in Asia: a bloc system is being put together," Putin told a news conference in Vietnam at the end of a two-day trip to Asia. He held talks in North Korea a day earlier.

"NATO is already "moving" there (to Asia) as if to a permanent place of residence. This, of course, creates a threat to all countries in the region, including the Russian Federation. We are obliged to respond to this and will do it," Putin said.

Alarmed by China's growing military power, the United States has pushed for NATO to share expertise and build ties with countries such as Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.

At odds with NATO over his war in Ukraine, Putin sees the military alliance as an adversary and accuses it of deceiving Russia by granting membership to east European countries following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

(Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Andrew Osborn)