The Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, warned today that the deployment of peacekeeping forces from the NATO on Ukraine would provoke military clashes between troops from Russia and the Atlantic Alliance.
“That will entail direct clashes between forces of Russia and of the NATO something that is not that we all want to avoid, but that we declare that they should not occur in principle,” Lavrov said during a university lecture.
Lavrov considered a provocation the pacifying proposal of Poland, one of the main allies of Kyiv and destination of millions of refugees from the neighboring country, and which he also accused of harboring territorial ambitions in Ukraine.
In addition to mentioning the alleged plans of the NATO to send to Ukraine a battalion made up of the three Baltic republics, he recalled that it had also opposed the deployment of an international force in Donbas at the time.
He also denounced the statements about the need to deploy Stinger anti-aircraft missiles in Ukraine, which, he warned, would pose “a colossal threat.”
In turn, Lavrov accused the United States of being interested in prolonging “as much as possible” the current Russian “allied military operation” in Ukraine.
“They hope to continue supplying weapons to Ukraine. You can see they want to keep us in a combat state as much as possible,” he said.
He lambasted Kyiv for continually changing its position during the negotiations, during which, he suggested, the Ukrainian delegation goes hand in hand with the United States.
He framed in this strategy the latest speeches by the president of Ukraine, Volodímir Zelenski, before the Parliaments of several Western countries.
“The delay (of the negotiations) is aimed at dramatizing the situation, allowing Zelensky in his khaki shirt to intervene before the Parliaments of the world and after the speech, with tears in his eyes, again demand the interference of the NATO”, he commented.
Lavrov claimed that Moscow does not oppose the mediation of Western countries, but stressed that there are “absolutely red lines” that cannot be crossed.
As for attempts to isolate his country and US pressure for all world powers to join Western sanctions, he replied: “We have many friends.”