The United States and its allies not only want to drag on Russia's military operation in Ukraine, now in its eighth month, but also seek to move hostilities to the Russian territory, according to a senior Russian security official.
Secretary of Russia’s Security Council Nikolai Patrushev said on Wednesday that the NATO military alliance was battling Russia by providing intelligence, arms and ammunition to Ukraine.
The Western military alliance, he said, was also threatening to use weapons of mass destruction against his country.
“This topic acquires special significance in connection with the conduct of the special military operation on the territory of Ukraine and the desire of the United States, the United Kingdom, and their Western satellites to drag out military operations, transfer them to our territory,” Patrushev said in Crimea.
“The Anglo-Saxons, who have long been the main sources of instability in the world, want to push Russia and Europe into a military confrontation for their own benefit,” he hastened to add.
Patrushev also stated that the main objective of the Westerners was to suppress Russia in order to preserve the unipolar world.
Elsewhere in his remarks, the Russian official said Washington had disrupted peace talks between Moscow and Kiev.
“With regard to Ukraine, it is important to stress the fundamentally different approach of the West and Russia. It has been repeatedly noted that the United States and its allies intend to fight to the last Ukrainian because the people of this country are just a bargaining chip in the geopolitical game for them.”
Russia's ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov also said on the Telegram messaging app on Wednesday that the US decision to ship more weapons to Ukraine poses an "immediate threat" to Moscow's interests and raises the risk of a direct military confrontation between Russia and the West.
“The supply of military products by the US and its allies not only entails protracted bloodshed and new casualties, but also increases the danger of a direct military clash between Russia and Western countries," he said.
The Kremlin vowed on Wednesday to take back territories lost to Kiev within Ukrainian regions that the country incorporated following referendums last week, saying the territories will be Russian “forever.”
“The given territories will be taken back,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
On Wednesday, President Vladimir Putin of Russia formally incorporated four Ukrainian regions into the Russian Federation.
In response, the European Union approved a new round of sanctions against Moscow. The Czech presidency of the EU said on Twitter that the latest package, which is the eighth since Russia's campaign began on February 24, is now going through a final approval procedure.
“We have just reached a political agreement on new sanctions against Russia – a strong EU response to Putin's illegal annexation of territories,” said the Czech Republic's EU ambassador Edita Hrda.