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14 Feb, 2023 15:00

Kremlin warns about NATO’s role in Ukraine conflict

The bloc displays its hostility to Moscow on a daily basis, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said 
Kremlin warns about NATO’s role in Ukraine conflict

NATO’s involvement in the Ukraine conflict is becoming more obvious by the day, despite claims to the contrary, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday.  

“NATO is an organization that is hostile to us,” Peskov told reporters. “They are confirming this hostility every day and are going out of their way to make their involvement in the conflict around Ukraine a lot clearer.”  

Peskov said the military bloc’s activities demand “certain precautionary measures” from Moscow. He noted that the US-led alliance has shared intelligence with Ukraine, and that “all of NATO’s military infrastructure is working against Russia.”    

Moscow launched its military operation in Ukraine nearly a year ago, citing the need to protect the people of Donbass and Kiev’s failure to implement the 2014-2015 Minsk agreements.   

NATO has since supplied Kiev with heavy weapons, including multiple rocket launchers, anti-tank weapons, armored vehicles, and artillery. The bloc has also trained Ukrainian troops. Despite this, NATO Secretary General Jen Stoltenberg claimed at a press conference on Monday that the alliance was not a “party to the conflict.”   

However, Stoltenberg noted that since 2014, NATO has “implemented the biggest reinforcements of collective defense in a generation,” deploying additional forces close to Russia’s borders. Moscow has repeatedly stressed that it considers the military sites on the bloc’s eastern flank as a threat.   

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock stated at a parliamentary debate last month that the EU was “fighting a war against Russia.” She later claimed she had made a mistake, but also argued that her words had been misconstrued.   

Kiev’s backers are meeting in Brussels on Tuesday to discuss further support. US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin told reporters upon arrival that Western countries were aiming to “help Ukraine hold and advance during the spring counter-offensive.” Several states, including the US, Britain, and Germany, earlier pledged to supply Kiev with modern main battle tanks.  

Moscow has warned that more foreign weapons will further escalate the conflict, vowing that tanks and other Western-supplied arms would be treated as legitimate targets for Russian troops.