Russia’s Lavrov Warns Blinken Of Return To Military Confrontation “Nightmare”
On Friday top Ukraine officials continued sounding the alarm over what they believe is a large-scale mustering of Russian troops aimed at prepping an invasion of eastern Ukraine.
“Our intelligence analyses all scenarios, including the worst,” Ukraine’s defense minister, Oleksii Reznikov, told parliament on Friday. “It notes that the likelihood of a large-scale escalation from Russia exists. The most likely time to reach readiness for an escalation will be the end of January.” He said more than 94,000 Russian soldiers have massed across the border.
The charge comes two days after Moscow turned the accusation around, saying that it’s actually Kiev that has now stationed half the entire national army in Donbass. The Kremlin called Ukraine’s rhetoric and actions “excessively inflamed and dangerous”, and suggested the flurry of ratcheting allegations this week are designed to provoke Russia.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday said in Stockholm that Western allies have expressed “tremendous solidarity” to take action in the event of a Russian offensive in Ukraine.
Given this atmosphere of escalating accusations and fears of direct confrontation, the Russian foreign ministry is urging immediate deconfliction. Likely there will be engagement between the Pentagon and Russian defense officials. Over a week ago, on Nov.23, the heads of the Russian and United States militaries held a rare phone call in efforts to deescalate the soaring tensions in eastern Europe.
In his latest comments Friday, Russian FM Sergey Lavrov asserted that NATO is refusing calls to de-escalate the crisis:
“NATO refuses to consider our proposals on de-escalation of tensions and prevention of dangerous incidents,” Lavrov said, accusing the US-led bloc of rejecting constructive discussion.
“On the contrary, the alliance’s military infrastructure is moving closer to Russia’s borders… The nightmarish scenario of military confrontation is returning.”
Blinken and Lavrov separated by about 25 feet and a large flower arrangement. pic.twitter.com/RypogEMcAC
— Nick Wadhams (@nwadhams) December 2, 2021
He actually met with Blinken on the sidelines of conference of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), held in Sweden:
At a European security conference in Sweden, Mr Lavrov floated the idea of a new European security pact to try to stop Nato from expanding further east.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned of “serious consequences” if Russia sought conflict with Ukraine.
Moscow has repeatedly denied that it’s preparing any kind of military offensive against Ukraine. It’s leader have said that troop movements within its own sovereign borders shouldn’t be cause for any other country’s concern.
Meanwhile, Russia remains on edge while again finding itself in the international spotlight of the West’s accusations: “As tensions rise, Russia said on Thursday it had arrested three suspected Ukrainian security service agents,” BBC reported of the latest incident. “One of the three was accused of planning a terrorist attack, while the other two had been seeking to gather intelligence, Russia’s Federal Security Service said.”
Fri, 12/03/2021 – 18:00