Ryabkov said, “The United States and other NATO countries are deliberately turning Ukraine into a powder keg.” At the same time, he accused the United States of provocations on the Russian border. For example, US warships thousands of kilometers from their original bases have no activity near Russian coasts. “This is a grossly provocative measure,” the deputy minister said. Russia is also troubled by the presence in Ukraine of a “network of vital laboratories”.
“In general, this is a serious challenge to our security,” the diplomat said. Instead, NATO called for ensuring that the agreed peace plan for eastern Ukraine was implemented. Meanwhile, Ryabkov affirmed: “Of course we will do everything to ensure our security and the safety of our citizens wherever they are.”
Military doctrine allows Moscow to intervene to protect Russian citizens abroad. Russia has issued more than 400,000 passports in eastern Ukraine. Recently, for the first time, the Russian leadership had publicly threatened to intervene in the conflict if Ukraine began a new military offensive. “The responsibility for the consequences of such a hypothetical escalation will be borne by Kiev and the Western curators only,” Ryabkov said.
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