Moscow slams American reporters over Biden press conference
American journalists are quick to talk about the likelihood of Russian troops staging an offensive into neighboring Ukraine, but neglect issues such as NATO’s expansion into Eastern Europe, Moscow has said amid tense relations with Washington.
Writing on her Telegram account on Wednesday night, diplomatic spokeswoman Maria Zakharova poured scorn on the topics raised by reporters at US President Joe Biden’s press conference.
“It is amazing how American journalists … speak with all the certainty of a ‘Russian attack on Ukraine’ and the Western countries’ commitment to the indivisibility of security, as if they have never heard of NATO’s eastward expansion,” she wrote, as Moscow seeks to gain guarantees that the US-led military bloc will not push into countries that used to be republics of the Soviet Union, including Ukraine.
According to the official, it is “as if they know nothing about Kiev’s provocations and Washington’s support for them.”
“What is this? Sacred simplicity or unacceptable naivete?” she remarked. “I think it’s criminal negligence.”
Zakharova’s remarks come in the wake of Biden’s press conference, in which he vowed to hit his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin with tough embargos if Moscow’s armed forces order an incursion into Ukraine.
“He’s never seen sanctions like the ones I will impose,” Biden said in response to a question from a reporter about past penalties imposed on Russia. “This is not all just a cakewalk for Russia. Militarily, they have overwhelming superiority relative to Ukraine, but they’ll pay a severe price.”
Tensions on the Russian-Ukrainian border have escalated in recent months, with Western leaders and media outlets voicing concerns that Moscow’s armed forces are amassing at the frontier as a precursor for an invasion.
The Kremlin, however, has repeatedly denied the accusations. Instead, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned that, in Ukraine, “more and more forces and equipment are being accumulated on the line of contact in the Donbass, supported by an increasing number of Western instructors.”
Lavrov also accused Western states of spurring on officials in Kiev to engage in anti-Russian provocations, which he cautioned could “turn into military adventures.”