Russia: Moscow threatens ‘tough response’ if West encourages Ukraine to attack Russian territory | International

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Moscow has not liked the British call on Ukraine not only to stop the Russian army, but also to fight back in Russia. The Foreign Ministry of the Slavic country has issued an ultimatum to the West and has warned that an incursion by Ukraine into its territory could cause an escalation in the conflict. Moscow accused the United States and Europe on Thursday of encouraging kyiv to attack Russia with the weapons they are providing, and threatened to give “a harsh response” to a possible Ukrainian operation on its own ground. This message represents one more step in the increase in tension between Russia and Western countries due to the conflict in Ukraine.

“I would like kyiv and Western capitals to take seriously our Defense Ministry’s statement that a further call on Ukraine to attack Russia using the weapons they provide will undoubtedly provoke a harsh response from our side. part”, stressed this Thursday the spokeswoman for Foreign Affairs, María Zajárova.

Moscow has accused kyiv of attacking its territory on several occasions in the last month. Among other actions, he denounced an alleged helicopter raid in the Belgorod region, near Ukraine, in which some fuel depots were destroyed, something that kyiv neither denied nor confirmed; and other bombings in border cities such as Klimovo, although Ukraine responded on that occasion that these events were a setup to incriminate it. On the other hand, the Kremlin sent a note of protest to Washington this week over the supply of weapons to kyiv and demanded that it stop “immediately”, according to its ambassador to the United States, Anatoli Antonov, in an interview on the Rossiya 24 channel. .

The Russian Foreign Minister mentioned in her criticism statements made two days earlier by the British Deputy Defense Minister, James Heappey, in which he defended that it is “completely legitimate” for Ukraine to destroy some targets in Russia to paralyze its offensive. However, the British defense secretary, Ben Wallace, went further this Thursday and supported, with nuances, the words of his foreign minister, Liz Truss, that Russia should be pushed “out of all of Ukraine”. Asked by the Sky News channel if this included Crimea, annexed by Russia in 2014, Wallace distinguished between the situation in the Black Sea peninsula and that in the rest of the country.

“There is a long way to go before Ukraine advances towards Crimea”, pointed out the head of the British defense, who pointed out that the first thing is “to kick Russia out of where it is now and help Ukraine to recover the Minsk agreements again that Moscow broke”, referring to the protocols signed in 2015 between the governments of Ukraine and Russia that, among other points, contemplated granting more autonomy to the Donbas region, with a Russian-speaking majority, and the withdrawal of all the forces present there. None of them were fulfilled.

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During her weekly press conference, Zajárova also assured that Ukraine, the United States “and the structures of NATO and the European Union” are preparing “a large-scale provocation in the cyber field” against Russia. Just five days ago, the ministry for which she is the spokesperson also accused the West of preparing false-flag biological, chemical or nuclear attacks on Ukraine to blame the Kremlin. The Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, stressed shortly after that his country does not want a Third World War, but that there is “a serious and real risk” of its occurrence and “it should not be underestimated”.

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