News ID: 319691
Published: 0233 GMT January 26, 2022

Russia to retaliate if demands on Ukraine not met: Lavrov

Russia to retaliate if demands on Ukraine not met: Lavrov
REUTERS

Biden threatens Putin with personal sanctions

Russia warned Wednesday it would quickly take “retaliatory measures” if the U.S. and its allies reject its security demands on Ukraine and continue their “aggressive” policies.

Russia has repeatedly denied it has any plan to invade Ukraine, an accusation leveled by the United States and its NATO allies who point to 100,000 Russian troops amassed near Ukraine's border and a series of military exercises Moscow launched in the region.

At the heart of the standoff are questions about Ukraine's future: Russia has demanded guarantees that NATO will never admit the country and other ex-Soviet nations as members and that the alliance will roll back troop deployments in other former Soviet bloc countries. Some of these, like the membership pledge, are nonstarters for NATO, creating a seemingly intractable stalemate that many fear can only end in a war, AP wrote.

Speaking to lawmakers Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said he and other top officials will advise President Vladimir Putin on the next steps after receiving written replies from the United States to the demands. Those answers are expected this week — even though the U.S. and its allies have already made clear they will reject the top Russian demands.

"If the West continues its aggressive course, Moscow will take the necessary retaliatory measures,” he said.

While Russia is currently waiting for the American reply, Lavrov indicated it wouldn't wait forever: “We won’t allow our proposals to be drowned in endless discussions,” he said.

Asked by lawmakers if Russia could expand military cooperation with Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua, Lavrov responded that Moscow has close ties with those countries. Earlier this month, Lavrov’s deputy pointedly refused to rule out the deployment of Russian military assets to Cuba and Venezuela — far closer to the U.S. than Ukraine — if Moscow’s security demands aren’t met.

NATO said this week it was bolstering its deterrence in the Baltic Sea region and the U.S. ordered 8,500 troops on higher alert for potential deployment to Europe. Western nations have also sent planeloads of weapons to strengthen Ukraine’s defenses.

Amid the escalating tensions, Ukrainian officials have sought to calm nerves.

Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Wednesday that while the concentration of Russian troops near Ukraine poses a threat, “their number is now insufficient for a large-scale offensive.”

Several rounds of high-stakes diplomacy have failed to yield any breakthroughs in the standoff, but another attempt was going forward.

In addition to the military moves, the U.S. and its allies have threatened sanctions like never before if Moscow sends its troops into Ukraine, but they have given few details.

 

Sanctions on Putin

On Tuesday, U.S. President Joe Biden told reporters that Putin “continues to build forces along Ukraine’s border,” and an attack “would be the largest invasion since World War II. It would change the world.”

He warned that there would be serious economic consequences for Putin, including personal sanctions, in the event of an invasion.

Asked to comment on Biden's statement, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov pointed out that the Russian president and other top officials don't have assets in the West but reaffirmed that such U.S. sanctions would be “politically destructive” for bilateral ties.

 

 

 

   
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