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US Obsessed With Alleged Russian Invasion of Ukraine, Moscow Has No Such Plans, Deputy FM Says

© Sputnik / Anton DenisovBy replacing Russia with a US company as supplier of nuclear fuel, Ukraine endangers the health of its citizens and other peoples in Europe
By replacing Russia with a US company as supplier of nuclear fuel, Ukraine endangers the health of its citizens and other peoples in Europe - Sputnik International, 1920, 13.12.2021
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The United States is strangely obsessed with the topic of an alleged Russian invasion of Ukraine, there is no such a thing and cannot be, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told Sputnik.

"The Americans are inexplicably fixated on the idea that there is a threat of a 'Russian invasion' of Ukraine. This is not the case and cannot be. And what we are doing on our territory simply does not concern them, they have neither the moral nor the political right to raise the issue", Ryabkov said.

During last week's virtual meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin told US President Joe Biden that Russian troops are deployed on Russian territory and do not pose a threat to anyone, according to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

Diplomatic Property

The Russian deputy foreign minister has also revealed that during the virtual meeting with US President Joe Biden last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin raised in stark terms the issue of access to and the return of Russian diplomatic property with the United States.

"In the phone conversation on 7 December, the Russian president put this question before Biden in a very harsh manner. And the very form of his raising [of the question], I am sure, attracted additional attention to the topic", Ryabkov said.

Over several years, Moscow has sent over 500 notes to the United States demanding the return of Russian diplomatic property and will continue the practice, the diplomat said, adding that Washington's excuses are absolutely unacceptable.

"This is a way to emphasise how much we are concerned and alarmed by this completely intolerable situation, and to what extent the American arguments, excuses for why they do not want to do this, are unacceptable to us", Ryabkov said.

The attempts by the US to present the matter in such a way that Russia remains the owner of these facilities but has no right either to use them, or even to enter them is just "a blatant attempt to deny the foundations of interstate communication, to deny everything that constitutes, by and large, the content of the concept of diplomatic immunity", the diplomat added.
© Sputnik / Maxim BlinovFlags of Russia and the United States at the American Embassy in Moscow.
Flags of Russia and the United States at the American Embassy in Moscow. - Sputnik International, 1920, 13.12.2021
Flags of Russia and the United States at the American Embassy in Moscow.
A row between the United States and Russia over the latter’s diplomatic property took place in December 2016, when then-US President Barack Obama closed two Russian diplomatic compounds in New York and Maryland and expelled 35 Russian diplomats.
Russian diplomats have since repeatedly asked the US government to provide access to the confiscated facilities in order to conduct an inventory and determine their condition, but to no effect. Moscow said Washington’s actions are in violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic and Consular Relations as well as other aspects of international law.

JCPOA

Ryabkov additionally commented on the Vienna-hosted nuclear talks over the restoration of the nuclear deal with Iran, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
According to the deputy foreign minister, the chances of reaching an agreement on restoring the JCPOA have increased.

"I think that now, the likelihood that we will come to an agreement has increased compared to what it was before the resumption of negotiations. I would rather say that there are reasons to expect some progress, not fast but at least clear, without any kickbacks and additional factors that can complicate [the situation]", Ryabkov said.

© AP Photo / IRIB In this image made from April 17, 2021, video released by the Islamic Republic Iran Broadcasting, IRIB, state-run TV, various centrifuge machines line the hall damaged on Sunday, April 11, 2021, at the Natanz Uranium Enrichment Facility, some 200 miles (322 km) south of the capital Tehran, Iran
In this image made from April 17, 2021, video released by the Islamic Republic Iran Broadcasting, IRIB, state-run TV, various centrifuge machines line the hall damaged on Sunday, April 11, 2021, at the Natanz Uranium Enrichment Facility, some 200 miles (322 km) south of the capital Tehran, Iran - Sputnik International, 1920, 13.12.2021
In this image made from April 17, 2021, video released by the Islamic Republic Iran Broadcasting, IRIB, state-run TV, various centrifuge machines line the hall damaged on Sunday, April 11, 2021, at the Natanz Uranium Enrichment Facility, some 200 miles (322 km) south of the capital Tehran, Iran
Aside from this, the proposals put forward by Iran at the Vienna talks on the JCPOA, according to Ryabkov, demonstrate Tehran's utmost seriousness about restoring the nuclear deal.

"There are other proposals presented not only by Iran. Negotiations are for finding a common denominator. It is not hopeless. On the contrary, there is material for consideration. As for the Iranian proposals, I can only say one thing — they have demonstrated the utmost seriousness of their approach to the task", Ryabkov said.

At the same time, the deputy foreign minister noted that it is counterproductive to threaten Iran with sanctions against the backdrop of the nuclear talks in Vienna - something the US is doing.

"This is their usual method — trying to drive someone to heaven with sticks. We constantly explain to the Americans the counterproductivity of this approach", Ryabkov said.

NATO

While discussing the issue of NATO, Sergei Ryabkov pointed out that the missile systems previously banned by the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF Treaty), may soon appear in Europe, though NATO allies assure that they have no intention of hosting nuclear weapons, there is no more confidence in the alliance.

"As for NATO's plans regarding the appearance in the European region of systems that were previously banned by the now-defunct INF Treaty, I would not like these plans to be developed and to be put into practice. By indirect indications, I can say that this is going on", Ryabkov said.

© AP Photo / Pavlo PalamarchukSoldiers take part in an exercise at the Yavoriv military training ground, close to Lvov, Western Ukraine, Friday, Sept 24, 2021. Ukraine, the US, and other NATO countries continue joint military drills in Western Ukraine presenting offensive exercises in town-like surroundings with tanks and other military vehicles involved.
Soldiers take part in an exercise at the Yavoriv military training ground, close to Lvov, Western Ukraine, Friday, Sept 24, 2021. Ukraine, the US, and other NATO countries continue joint military drills in Western Ukraine presenting offensive exercises in town-like surroundings with tanks and other military vehicles involved.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 13.12.2021
Soldiers take part in an exercise at the Yavoriv military training ground, close to Lvov, Western Ukraine, Friday, Sept 24, 2021. Ukraine, the US, and other NATO countries continue joint military drills in Western Ukraine presenting offensive exercises in town-like surroundings with tanks and other military vehicles involved.
The creation of the so-called artillery command, which in the last century was in charge of the Pershing 2 medium-range systems, suggests that the US, together with its allies, is "preparing to repeat that sad experience in the new military-technical, technological operational base", the diplomat said.

"Assurances ... that NATO has no intentions to deploy such nuclear weapons do not convince us of anything. Firstly, there is no trust in NATO as an alliance in principle. We have found ourselves many times in a situation where one thing is announced today, the day after tomorrow another, a year later a third, and all this is done as if nothing had happened. And one of the reasons why Russia now at the highest level requires legal security guarantees is because all the assurances and even the obligations of a political nature have been 'overturned'", he said.

NATO allies act in such a way "as is beneficial and necessary for them, they do not want to reckon with the interests of our security", Ryabkov said.
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