Moscow can no longer tolerate US-led NATO's eastward expansion and “gradual invasion” of Ukraine, top Russian official warns.
Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said “we have seen the gradual invasion of NATO into the Ukrainian territory with its infrastructure, with its instructors, with supplies of defensive and offensive weapons, teaching the Ukrainian military and so forth. That brought us to the red line, a situation where we couldn’t tolerate it anymore.”
He said at the time of the Germany’s reuniting, there was a guarantee from the American side that “NATO would never expand its military infrastructure or political infrastructure eastwards.”
“Unfortunately, the opposite thing started to happen since then, and NATO's military infrastructure started to get closer and closer to the borders of the Russian Federation,” he told CNN, adding that that recent actions by the US military “endangered” Russian national security.
The spokesman warned that NATO’s expansion to former soviet states bordering Russia is a real threat both for the country and the whole European security structure.
NATO is a “weapon of confrontation,” not a “dove of peace,” Peskov stressed, warning that Russia is ready to take counter-measures in case NATO continues its deployments in Ukraine and disregards Moscow’s concerns.
According to Peskov, Kremlin wants NATO to consider Moscow’s red lines, which consists of admitting Ukraine as a member, putting offensive weapons on Ukrainian soil and deploying military facilities near the Russian border.
Peskov’s comments came after the lengthy meetings between representatives of Washington and Moscow in Geneva, after which the two diplomats spoke of substantial differences.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said the two sides had “opposite views on what needs to be done,” and his counterpart Wendy Sherman said the Russian proposals had been “simply non-starters to the United States.”
The tensions between Russia and the West have escalated following the series of talks, with the United States threatening heavy sanctions and the European Union taking a more confrontational approach.