Russian Defense Ministry Warns High Risk Of Armed Conflict Over Ukraine
MOSCOW - Russia's Foreign Ministry warned foreign ambassadors that there was a 'high risk' of conflict between Russia and Ukraine the day after Russian President Vladimir Putin put out a threat of 'diverse' military and technical responses if the U.S. and NATO do not listen to Russia's demands.
Although the Biden administration has called for diplomacy, the United States and NATO have both called Russia's demands to withdraw all forces from Eastern Europe and reject Ukraine from ever joining NATO 'unacceptable'.
Putin replied by saying "We didn't make the proposals just to see them blocked in terms of the diplomatic process, but for the purpose of reaching a negotiated diplomatic result that would be fixed in legally binding documents. We will aim at this".
During a Russian television program Putin was asked by Pavel Zarubin "If they don’t hear us this time too, you’ve made it clear that there will be a military and technical response. What could it be?"
Putin replied, "It could be very different. It depends on the suggestions that our military experts will make to me. But I hope that still… it’s not for the sake of swamping something and stopping something, that we have proposed in terms of this diplomatic process".
"But for the sake of achieving a diplomatic negotiating result that is fixed, as I said, legally within the framework of the documents that we have proposed. This is exactly what we will strive for" he continued.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told International Affairs magazine that we are close to a point where diplomacy will play a subordinate role and where 'we will be unable to reconcile ourselves with current events'
"I would not like to discuss an escalation scenario. I believe that we are close to a point where diplomacy, however crucial and effective, will be playing a subordinate role" he stated.
We are not putting forward any ultimatums," he said. "But the logic is pushing us towards a situation where will be unable to reconcile ourselves with the current events, to swallow all this and to pretend that nothing is happening".
"Political and diplomatic means must be employed for settling the situation. We have already said how it is to be settled. We are calling upon one and all to take the most serious attitude to this and to avoid looking for something far-fetched or excessive in our proposals".
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has also stated that he does not rule out that the West is planning a 'small war' in ukraine so that they can accuse Moscow of it and then impose sanctions to restrict Russia's capabilities.
"I do not rule out that there is a desire to fuel militaristic sentiments in Ukraine, to make 'a little war,' then blame us and impose another sanctions to suppress our competitive capabilities" Lavrov stated. He also said that if sanctions are imposed then 'they will never be lifted'.
Despite accusations and propaganda by Russia that the United States wants a war, Russia continues to send heavy artillery, tanks and soldiers to positions near the Ukrainian border and threatens the US and NATO consequences for not meeting their demands not to allow Ukraine into NATO and to withdraw all forces from Eastern Europe.
As far as Russian demands, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told Foreign Affairs magazine on Monday that Russia is not bluffing with their demands to the United States and NATO.
"When we say loud and clear that we demand an official withdrawal of the decision made at the 2008 Bucharest summit relating to Ukraine and Georgia’s [intentions] to join NATO, <...> when we say that further expansion of NATO needs to be prevented, when we say that NATO facilities and all kinds of activities that are provocative for Russia need to be rolled back to the positions that existed in 1997 when the NATO-Russia Founding Act was signed, we are not bluffing" Ryabkov stated.
"These are our real proposals. The West’s awareness of this needs to be facilitated and we are going to make every effort to achieve it" he added.