Moscow responds to NATO member’s call to strike Russia
Latvia’s foreign minister is inciting “a large-scale war,” by urging NATO to allow Ukraine use Western-supplied weapons to strike Russian territory, Russia’s embassy to the Baltic nation has said.
On Tuesday, Edgars Rinkevics suggested that “we should allow Ukrainians to use weapons” currently deployed inside the country “to target missile sites or air fields” in Russia. The US-led bloc “should not fear” escalation with Moscow, he said in an interview with Bloomberg on the sidelines of the NATO foreign ministers’ meeting in Bucharest.
The Russian embassy in Latvia responded to the statement on Wednesday, expressing alarm that “not some frenzied military expert is calling for such steps, but somebody as high-ranked as the head of the Latvian diplomatic department.”
“What is this if not incitement to unleash a large-scale war?” the embassy wrote in a post on Telegram, adding that the task of diplomats is to work towards peaceful resolution of conflicts.
“It seems that the Latvian minister has his own, frankly speaking, very peculiar ideas about the essence and goals of diplomacy in the modern world,” the Russian mission said.
The statement went on to claim that the Latvian diplomat’s call on NATO to “allow” Ukraine to make certain moves “once again confirmed the puppet nature of the Kiev regime, which doesn’t dare to take a single step without a go-ahead from its Western masters.”
Russia has previously described the conflict in Ukraine as a “proxy war” being waged against it by the US and NATO. It has also condemned deliveries of Western weapons to Kiev, saying they only prolong the fight and increase the risk of a direct confrontation between NATO and Russia.
Latvia, along with its neighbors Estonia and Lithuania, has been among the most vocal supporters of Kiev in its conflict with Moscow, urging more aid for Ukraine and harsher Western sanctions against Russia. On Monday, Rinkevics visited Kiev, where he met with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky and a group of foreign ministers from six other Nordic and Baltic states.