Russia is at war with NATO: Kremlin official

NATO is at war with Russia on Ukrainian territory, Sergei Kiriyenko, the first deputy chief of Russia’s presidential staff, said on Wednesday.

Kiriyenko, whose comments were reported by the Russian state news agency TASS, claimed at the opening ceremony of the Digoria forum for young political scientists that the West was conducting a “hot military operation” against Russia.

“We understand very well that on the territory of Ukraine we are not at war with Ukraine and, of course, not with Ukrainians,” he was quoted as saying by TASS. “The entire NATO bloc is waging a war against Russia, on the territory of Ukraine and at the hands of the Ukrainians.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin has not described his attack on Ukraine as a war, but as a “military special operation”. He also has not announced any definitive plans to take the conflict beyond Ukraine’s borders or to declare war on NATO, a 30-member defensive military alliance.

NATO at war with Russia: Official
NATO is at war with Russia on Ukrainian territory, Sergei Kiriyenko, the first deputy chief of Russia’s presidential staff, said on Wednesday. Above, Kiriyenko speaks during a briefing at the Presidential Administration June 11, 2021 in Moscow, Russia.
Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Still, Putin has warned in recent months that any countries that “pose a strategic threat to Russia” during the Ukraine offensive would face “retaliatory strikes” that would be “lightning quick.”

Some NATO countries have sent arms and other military aid to Ukraine. US-supplied High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) have attracted attention in recent weeks as Ukrainian forces reported a string of successful strikes on Russian targets.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, in an interview with Russian state television in April, warned that with the West arming Ukraine, “NATO will essentially go to war with Russia through a proxy and arm that proxy,” it said The Wall Street Journal.

Kiriyenko on Wednesday also accused the Ukrainian leadership of turning their country and people into a proxy of NATO, TASS reported.

“They provided the territory of Ukraine and the Ukrainian people in order to establish a fundamental confrontation between the Western community and Russia on this territory,” he said. “Of course, as NATO itself declares without hesitation, NATO will fight zealously to the last Ukrainian and without a trace of remorse against Russia.”

Since the beginning of the war, Russian state television has shown that the country is ready for a direct confrontation with NATO. But US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said in May that he believes attacking the alliance is a risk Putin may not be willing to take.

“When Russia decides to attack a nation that is a NATO member, that’s a game changer,” Austin said while testifying with General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, before the House Defense Subcommittee .

“But if you look at Putin’s calculus, my view – and I’m sure the Chairman has his own view – but my view is that Russia doesn’t want to take on the NATO alliance.”

news week turned to the Kremlin and NATO for comment.

https://www.newsweek.com/russia-war-nato-kremlin-official-1732679 Russia is at war with NATO: Kremlin official

Rick Schindler

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