Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov warned on Monday that a confrontation between the United States and NATO does not offer Russia security guarantees regarding its enlargement to the east, writes Reuters, taking over the Russian agency RIA Novosti.
One of Moscow’s major concerns is that weapons systems that were previously banned by the Interim Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) could appear in Europe at the suggestion of NATO partners, Sergei Riabkov said in an interview with RIA Novosti. The United States and Russia withdrew from the INF Treaty in 2019.
“It will be a confrontation, this is coming (…). At present, they (weapons – no) do not exist, we have a unilateral moratorium and we call on the USA and NATO to join this moratorium “, said Sergei Riabkov.
“The lack of progress in the political-diplomatic solution of this problem will make our answer military and technical-military,” he added.
The Russian diplomat stressed that Russia does not trust NATO, even if it would give assurances regarding weapons.
“Assurance that NATO does not intend to deploy nuclear weapons does not convince us at all. First of all, because we have no confidence in NATO. Many times we find ourselves in a situation where today I say one thing, tomorrow another, and a year later, a third thing. And they do it as if nothing had happened. “
In November, Russian President Vladimir Putin called on Moscow’s MFA to “obtain important long-term security guarantees for Russia.” The Kremlin leader explained that these guarantees seek to avoid “conflict.” According to the Russian president, one of the “red lines” that the West must not cross is NATO enlargement to the east, especially to Ukraine.
The Russian Foreign Ministry has even asked. a “formal” denunciation of the decision at the 2008 NATO summit in Bucharest that “Ukraine and Georgia will become NATO members.” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, however, opposed any Russian intervention in Alliance-Ukraine relations, refusing to rule out a possible accession of Kiev, as Moscow wants.
Editor: Bogdan Pacurar