Posted on Dec 13, 2021
Russia will respond “militarily” to what it perceives as NATO’s encroachment on its western borders, Deputy Foreign Ministry Sergei Ryabkov said on Monday.
The threat follows Moscow’s complaints over NATO weapons deployment in Eastern Europe and Western warnings of Russia’s imminent invasion of Ukraine.
“Our response will be military” if the Western military bloc does not guarantee an end to its eastward expansion, Ryabkov told the state-run RIA Novosti news agency. “There will be confrontation,” he added, warning that Moscow would deploy weapons that were previously banned under the INF Treaty, which expired in 2019.
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“Currently, these banned weapons do not exist; we have a unilateral moratorium. We call on NATO and the United States to join this moratorium,” Ryabkov said, lamenting that “they just don’t respond to our proposals.”
“There’s basically no trust in NATO,” the senior diplomat told RIA Novosti. “Therefore, we’re no longer playing this kind of game and don’t believe NATO’s assurances.”
Ryabkov derided the United States’ “inexplicable fixation” on the threat of a Russian invasion of Ukraine. “This isn’t so and cannot be,” he said.
Last week President Vladimir Putin demanded from US President Joe Biden that the West guarantee in writing that Ukraine would not be a staging ground for NATO, demanding that the US formally close the door to NATO membership to the ex-Soviet republics of Ukraine and Georgia.
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