Moscow/Washington: Strong reaction was received from Russia following the Ukrainian announcement to hold joint war exercises with NATO. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ribkov warned that Ukraine and the western powers supporting it, should be aware of the consequences of their inciting activities. The Russian Minister also informed that Russia had held discussions regarding the issue with senior US officials. Before the warning issued by the Russian Minister, the United States had warned that Russia should not take steps that could spark a conflict in the region.
The conflict going on between Russia and Ukraine since 2014 has not stopped; instead, it has intensified over the last few days. Russia claimed that Ukraine and its supporters, the United States and NATO members, have initiated aggressive moves. Russia drew attention to the sanctions imposed by the Ukraine government against Russia, the defence assistance announced by the United States to Ukraine and the military movements started by NATO.
On the other hand, Ukraine, the United States and NATO member countries claim Russia has started that aggressive movements. Against this background, the discussions between senior US and Russian officials and the following warning issued by the Russian Minister, draw attention. While issuing the warning, the Russian Deputy Minister also accused the United States and NATO countries of supporting the Ukrainian incitements.
Before the Russian allegations, US department of state issued a statement in support of the Ukrainian accusations. Ned Price, the US department of state spokesman, warned that Ukraine’s information regarding the Russian military movements is true. Moreover, Russia needs to exhibit restraint in the matter. At the same time, he also said that the United States was open to holding talks with Russia to resolve problems in the region.
Meanwhile, Russia has issued a fresh warning regarding the missiles being deployed by the United States and the United Kingdom. Maria Zakharova, the Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman, warned that Russia has not shut the doors on talks. But in the current scenario, there is a higher possibility that it will resort to military options to retaliate against the missile threat.
The United States and the United Kingdom both announced fresh missile deployments in the last month. According to the announcement, short and medium-range missiles will be deployed in the Indo-Pacific and the Asian continent. Russia has accused that these missile deployments by the United States and the United Kingdom are against Russia. Russia has expressed resentment, regarding this, even in the past. But while there are indications that the tension will fester over Ukraine, this warning issued by Russia becomes significant.