Britain’s foreign secretary made ‘unacceptable’ statements about NATO-Russia ‘clashes’, Putin’s spokesman says
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday that Russian President Vladimir Putin had placed Russian deterrent forces – including nuclear weapons – on high alert in response to statements by the British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss on a potential conflict between NATO and Moscow.
“Statements have been made by various representatives at different levels about possible altercations or even collisions and clashes between NATO and Russia,” Peskov told reporters. “We believe that such statements are absolutely unacceptable. I would not call the authors of these statements by name, even if it was the British Foreign Secretary.
Speaking to Sky News on Sunday, Truss said that “If we don’t stop Putin in Ukraine, we will see others threatened: the Baltic countries, Poland, Moldova, and this could lead to a conflict with NATO. We don’t want to go there. » Truss did not specify how the UK could “Stop” Russia in Ukraine, although the British government has already sent anti-tank weapons and other “lethal aid” in Kyiv.
However, a Foreign Office source told the BBC on Monday: “I don’t think anything Liz said warrants that kind of rhetoric or escalation,” adding that Truss always referred to NATO – which was formed for the explicit purpose of opposing the Soviet Union – as a “defensive alliance”.
Although Putin’s announcement signals no intention to use nuclear weapons, it was received in the West as a reminder of the importance Moscow places on Ukraine and its determination to keep the country out of the EU. NATO. Since the end of the Cold War, successive Russian leaders have consistently opposed the alliance’s eastward expansion, and Moscow sees the idea of a NATO-armed Ukraine on its borders as a threat. existential for security.
In Washington, White House press secretary Jen Psaki condemned Putin’s decision to raise the alert level, accusing the Russian president of “Manufacturing threats that don’t exist to justify further aggression.”
Meanwhile, in Ukraine, the Russian operation is still ongoing and fighting has taken place in the cities of Kharkov, Mariupol and on the outskirts of Kiev. Interim negotiations between Ukrainian and Russian officials took place in Belarus on Monday.
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