With more than 100,000 Russian troops thronging Ukraine’s border, fears are growing that a major conflict could break out in Europe.
TookRussian ambassador to the European Union Vladimir Chizov said in an interview with British newspaper The Guardian on Monday, Russia “will not invade Ukraine unless provoked”.
“We will not invade Ukraine unless provoked,” said Vladimir Chizov, who has represented Russia in Brussels since 2005.
“If Ukrainians attack Russia, you shouldn’t be surprised if we retaliate. Or if they start brazenly killing Russian civilians out of nowhere – the Donbass or anywhere else,” he said in that region of eastern Ukraine. Referring to the U.S., where separatist Russians have been fighting the Ukrainian military for eight years.
Mr Tchaizov warned that a Ukrainian “provocation” could push the Kremlin into action.
“What I mean by provocation is that they can stage an event against the self-proclaimed republicans of the Donbass, provoke them, and then kill them with all their might, thus avoiding a catastrophe in Russia.” may provoke a reaction of its limits on humanitarian aid,” he said.
Russia, which already annexed Crimea in 2014 and backs pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, has consistently denied any aggressive intent, despite the fact that there are 100,000 troops on the Ukrainian border.
Conversely, she says the expansion of NATO resources in Eastern Europe threatens her and calls for “security guarantees”, in particular an assurance that Ukraine will never join NATO.
“All the Elements Are in Place” for a Military Assault
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Monday evening that Ukraine had “all the elements” for a “strong” military offensive by Russia.
“Does Ukraine have all the elements for a strong attack by the Russian military? Yes, it’s true, it’s possible there, it’s possible early”, he announced on the France 5 channel, while insisting that “anything today does not indicate” that Russian President Vladimir Putin made a decision. “That’s what’s hanging in our faces,” he added very directly, emphasizing that there are no signs of imminent Russian interference at this time.
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