US has put itself and Russia ‘on brink of direct clash’ – Moscow
Washington’s “dangerous and short-sighted policy” has put it “on the brink of a direct clash” with Moscow, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Monday, responding to US State Department spokesman Ned Price, who blamed Russia last week for making relations between the two countries “unstable and unpredictable.”
Moscow has “genuinely strived” to make relations with the US stable and predictable, even as Washington stokes tensions, Zakharova added.
“It is the US’ desire to maintain American hegemony at all costs… as well as its arrogant unwillingness to engage in a serious dialogue on security guarantees” that led to the current crisis, the spokeswoman said.
Russia is calling on the administration of US President Joe Biden to avoid further escalation, Zakharova said, adding that Moscow still wants to defuse tensions and is open to talking to the US at various levels.
However, the US is openly lying about maintaining contacts with Russia, Zakharova claimed. Last week, Price said that Secretary of State Antony Blinken still keeps in touch with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Zakharova called the statement a “banal lie,” adding that the last time the two diplomats spoke was July 29.
Amid the Russian military operation in Ukraine, Washington has provided massive amounts of financial and military aid to Kiev and has led the drive for sanctions on Moscow, which was also joined by US allies in the EU and elsewhere.
The conflict in Ukraine broke out after the US rejected Russia’s proposals for security guarantees in Europe, including a limit on NATO expansion to the east. Moscow repeatedly warned that Ukraine’s potential membership in the US-led military bloc would cross a red line and that arming Kiev would only prolong the conflict.