Russian diplomat threatens use of ‘military options’ if ‘threats to Russia’s security’ aren’t addressed
The Kremlin will make use of “military options” to counteract “credible security threats” it faces, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushkosaid at a press briefing on Jan. 12.
After a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council, Grushko said Russia “perceives” a threat to its security, and claimed that other countries “have their offensive weaponry aimed right at us” – despite a lack of evidence to support that claim.
“We have a whole range of perfectly legal military measures at our disposal, which we will put to use to neutralize any credible threats to our national security,” said Grushko, adding that “once political avenues to neutralize such threats are exhausted, we will make full use of the military options available to us.”
Earlier, Grushko said that Moscow would shift towards “countering with creating security threats for our adversaries,” if its demands for “security guarantees” are not satisfied.
On Dec. 17, Russia issued demands for what it called “security guarantees” from the United States and NATO, including that Ukraine be forbidden from ever becoming a member of the alliance; all against the backdrop of a continuous build-up of Russian troops close to the Ukrainian border.
During a press conference on Dec. 26, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin said that Moscow would “respond in a variety of ways,” should the West reject his demands.
Following the Jan. 12 meeting of the NATO-Russia Council, United States Deputy Secretary of State Wendy R. Sherman expressed her bewilderment as to “why (Russia) would feel threatened by Ukraine,” given that besides being one of the world’s major nuclear powers, Russia possesses the largest military in Europe.
Officials from the United States and the European Union have expressed deep concern over the situation, and on Jan. 12 U.S. legislators revealed a sweeping sanctions package in case of a further Russian invasion of Ukrainian territory.
During the council meeting, representatives of the 30 members of NATO spent four hours discussing the threat of Russian invasion of Ukraine, as well as the Kremlin’s demands. Afterwards, NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance would never compromise on its “open door” policy.
Ukraine will participate in a Russia – Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe meeting on Jan. 13.
Currently, over 100,000 Russian troops are estimated to be deployed on the Russian-Ukrainian border and in Russian-occupied Ukrainian territories, reports Ukrainian intelligence.
Meanwhile, Oleksiy Danilov, the Secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, stated that a direct invasion of Ukraine by Russian armed forces was unlikely.
However, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov has said that a renewed Russian offensive in Ukraine may occur in late January 2022.
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