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28 Feb, 2023 05:33

NATO de facto at war with Russia – Kremlin

Western states stubbornly rejected any security talks even before the Ukraine conflict, Dmitry Peskov claimed
NATO de facto at war with Russia – Kremlin

The US-led collective West must change its approach to global security and finally take Moscow’s concerns into consideration, before talks on the New START nuclear agreement can be renewed, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has insisted.

Speaking to the Izvestia newspaper for an interview published on Tuesday, Peskov said relations with the United States and Europe have “changed radically” since President Vladimir Putin formulated draft security treaties that were sent to Washington, Brussels and Vienna in late 2021, only to hear that “they were not ready to talk about anything with us.” 

“If they wanted, they could have sat down at the negotiating table [back then, before the decision to launch a military operation in Ukraine],” he said. “There would have been very complex, positional, sometimes irreconcilable talks, but they would have been under way. But they refused.”

With the failed attempt at dialogue, tensions continued to soar between Moscow and the West in the lead up to the conflict in Ukraine. Peskov argued that NATO is now fully involved in the hostilities, noting “their intelligence is working against us 24 hours a day, their weapons… are supplied to Ukraine for free to shoot at our military, not to mention that they shoot at Ukrainian citizens.”

“The moment when NATO de facto became a participant in the conflict in Ukraine, the situation changed,” the spokesman continued. “In fact, the NATO bloc is no longer acting as our conditional opponent, but as our enemy.”

“President Putin was and remains open to any contacts that can help Russia achieve its goals in one way or another,” Peskov continued. “Preferably peacefully, at the negotiations table, but when this is not possible, also by military means, as we are seeing now.”

Peskov touched on the New START treaty, a US-Russian accord intended to limit both nations’ nuclear stockpiles and allow them to monitor each other’s military facilities to confirm compliance. Amid the conflict in Ukraine, however, Moscow and Washington have accused each other of failing to facilitate such inspections.

Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that Moscow intended to formally suspend its obligations under the pact, with Peskov explaining “the conditions must somehow change.” During the New START negotiations, the nuclear arsenals of France and Great Britain were left out of the equation, even though they are “significant enough for the entire system of European strategic security,” he said.

“These countries – France, Britain, the United States – are members of an organization which is de facto at war with us... you need to call a spade a spade,” Peskov added, noting how Western states nevertheless keep “repeating like a mantra that they do not want to be participants in the conflict.”

Putin has also accused NATO specialists of helping Kiev to launch drone attacks against Russian airfields hosting long-range bombers, which are part of Moscow’s system of nuclear deterrence. He blamed Washington and NATO’s proxy war against Russia for destroying the foundation of trust on which the treaty was initially built.

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