Russia threatens military response if NATO keeps hitting ‘sore spots’

20 December 2021, 12:17 PM

Russia will respond militarily if NATO continues hitting its “sore spots,” Konstantin Gavrilov, the head of the Russian delegation at the Vienna Negotiations on Military Security and Arms Control, said on Dec. 20.

“The moment of truth” is nearly here for Russia-NATO relations, Russian news website quoted Gavrilov as saying.

“The talks must be serious, and everyone in NATO well understands … that it’s necessary to take concrete political actions,” he said. “Otherwise, the alternative is … a military response from Russia.”

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Russia has demanded that NATO and the United States provide it with security guarantees, including a ban on Ukraine joining the alliance, and the reversal of a 2008 decision by NATO to put Ukraine and Georgia on the path to membership.

On Dec. 10 Russia’s Foreign Ministry said Ukraine’s current path may spark a large-scale military conflict in Europe. Two recent steps towards Ukraine’s NATO alignment include the country enshrining the goal of NATO membership in its constitution in 2019, and the alliance declaring Ukraine a NATO Enhanced Opportunities Partner in 2020.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky also said during talks in April with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg that Ukraine’s accession to NATO was the only way to end the war in the Donbas.

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