Kremlin on US Threats of 'Sharp Pain' Over Ukraine: Russia Considering Various Scenarios
US Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland announced Saturday that the US had prepared 18 scenarios to respond to hypothetical Russian 'aggression' over Ukraine, saying the conversation between the US and its allies has been about "inflicting very sharp pain very fast if Russia makes this move in any form".
Russia is considering its own scenarios in the event of a continued escalation over Ukraine, but has fewer of them than undersecretary of state Nuland, Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov has said.
"Of course, in the context of the current situation, Russia is thinking about how to ensure its own security. We know that Mrs. Nuland has 18 scenarios. We are considering different scenarios; we believe that there should be far fewer of them because the formulation of the question is extremely correct for us; there is no need to make it complicated, because it is not so complicated. The question is extremely direct and extremely specific," Peskov said in a briefing Monday.
"We hope that -as our American interlocutors have already said, that something can be formulated in writing this week by the US side," Peskov added.
Asked to comment on the possible deployment of Russian missiles in Cuba or Venezuela in response to US deployments in Europe, the Kremlin spokesman recalled the former states' sovereignty. "In Latin America and so on: there we are still talking about sovereign states, let's not forget about this," Peskov said.
Undersecretary of State Nuland told the Financial Times Saturday that Washington had concocted well over a dozen possible options to respond to a 'Russian invasion' of Ukraine. The high-ranking diplomat did not elaborate on exactly what these options were, saying only that the conversation with allies has been about "inflicting very sharp pain very fast" against Moscow.
Tensions between Russia and NATO escalated steadily in the wake of the Ukraine crisis in 2014, during which Western-backed forces overthrew the elected government in Kiev, prompting Crimea to break off and rejoin Russia, and sparking a civil conflict in eastern Ukraine. In the spring of 2021 and then again in the fall and winter of that same year, Western officials and media accused Russia of engaging in a military buildup on Ukraine's borders in possible preparations for an incursion. Moscow has dismissed all claims to that effect, accusing the West of artificially pumping up tensions, while also intimating that it would not stand by if Kiev tried to resolve the frozen civil conflict in Ukraine's east by force.
Russian diplomats met with their US and NATO counterparts last week to discuss a series of security proposals tabled by Moscow designed to considerably ease tensions. The proposals call on both sides to refrain from deploying troops, missile systems, aircraft and warships in areas where they may be considered a threat to the other side. Washington and the Western bloc are also asked to halt NATO's eastward expansion, and to scrap plans to incorporate Ukraine or any other country of the former Soviet Union into the alliance. The West is also asked to limit the deployment of foreign troops and weapons in its eastern areas near Russia. NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg has rejected any suggestion that the alliance's 'open door' policy can be slammed shut by Russia.
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