Russia Warns West Convoys With Foreign Weapons for Ukraine Are Legit Military Targets
09:24 GMT 12.03.2022 (Updated: 10:45 GMT 12.03.2022)
© AP Photo / Efrem LukatskyUkrainian servicemen unpack Javelin anti-tank missiles, delivered as part of the United States of America's security assistance to Ukraine, at the Borispol airport, outside Kiev, Ukraine, Friday, Feb. 11, 2022
© AP Photo / Efrem Lukatsky
Relations between Russia and the US have plunged to a new low since Washington imposed massive sanctions against the Russian financial sector and economy in response to the Kremlin's decision to launch a special military operation in Ukraine.
Moscow could resume a security dialogue with the US if Washington is ready to do so, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ryabkov has stated. He added that Russia is also prepared to discuss the issue of the New START treaty, which had been put on hold as well.
At the same time, Ryabkov said that Moscow's propositions for a security dialogue have changed since the last time it was on the agenda.
"I would not say that [earlier Russian proposals on security guarantees], remain in force. The [security] landscape has completely changed and now the situation is radically different", Ryabkov said.
The deputy minister added that Russia will not make any concessions to the US in matters of strategic stability. He also warned Washington against any reckless steps in this area.
The diplomat further cautioned the West against "mindlessly pumping weapons" into Ukraine. He stressed that it is a dangerous move and that convoys carrying these weapons will be legitimate targets for the Russian military.
Russian Response to West's Sanctions Ready
The deputy foreign minister stated that right now the US is waging economic war against Russia. He separately lambasted a decision by western countries to close their airspace to Russian aircraft as "illegal". Ryabkov added that Moscow has already prepared lists of personal counter sanctions against western countries and that they will be revealed soon.
Ryabkov underscored that the West would have eventually found a pretext for new anti-Russian sanctions even without Moscow launching a special operation in Ukraine. The latter was ordered by President Vladimir Putin on 24 February after a request from the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics (DPR and LPR) to protect them against Kiev's forces. Ukraine and its western allies branded the operation an "invasion".
"We know that America can pull any trick at any moment. We have been preparing for this situation [with sanctions]. They are irrelevant to the special military operation, they are not connected to it. Russia is like a thorn in Washington's side, that's the point. We understand this", Ryabkov said.
The US, other western countries, and their allies slapped Russia with harsh economic sanctions targeting its top companies, energy and financial sectors, as well as the Central Bank and country's aviation industry. They tied the decision to Russia's decision to recognise the DPR and LPR's independence on 21 February and to launch a special operation in Ukraine three days later. Moscow said it seeks to demilitarise and de-Nazify the country, pointing out that Ukraine was on the verge of becoming a NATO member and deploying weapons endangering Russia's security on its territory.
NATO members have repeatedly denied planning to accept Ukraine into its ranks in the foreseeable future, despite promising to eventually do that back in 2008. The bloc's members said they won't be engaging in the fight on Ukraine's territory including by creating a no-fly zone above it as per the request of President Volodymyr Zelensky. US President Joe Biden elaborated that such an engagement could prompt WWIII.
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