Ex-Russian president comments on EU ‘peacekeepers’
Any EU “peacekeepers” sent to Ukraine will be considered enemy combatants directly involved in the conflict and treated accordingly, former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev warned on Friday.
Earlier in the day, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said in a radio interview that the bloc was discussing “some kind of peacekeeping force” for Ukraine, perhaps under a NATO aegis. The Kremlin responded by calling the idea “extremely dangerous.”
Medvedev, who is the deputy chair of the Russian Security Council, called the idea peak cynicism. The US-led bloc “continues to stuff the Kiev regime with weapons, tanks and other military equipment,” he wrote on Telegram, so it’s hard to imagine they want peace.
“Their true intentions are clear – to establish a peace advantageous to them from a position of strength on the contact line. To introduce their ‘peacekeeping’ troops into Ukraine with machine guns and tanks, in some blue helmets with yellow stars,” wrote Medvedev.
“It is clear that the so-called NATO peacekeepers are just going to enter the conflict on the side of our enemies,” he added. “It’s also obvious that such ‘peacemakers’ are our direct enemies. Wolves in sheep’s clothing. They will be a legitimate target for our armed forces if they are placed on the front line without Russia’s consent, with weapons in their hands and directly threatening us. And then these ‘peacemakers’ must be ruthlessly destroyed. They are soldiers of the enemy. They are combatants.”
The only thing that remains to be clarified, Medvedev concluded, is whether Europe is ready for “a long line of coffins” coming back from Ukraine.
Russia has repeatedly warned the US and its allies to desist from sending weapons to Ukraine, as this only prolongs the conflict and risks a direct confrontation between nuclear-armed powers. NATO has sent over $100 billion in military aid – including tanks and fighter jets – to Kiev, while insisting the bloc is not a participant in the conflict.
However, multiple high-ranking Western officials have said that “strategic defeat” of Russia was their objective, and, according to Moscow, the US recently vetoed any ceasefire in Ukraine – belying its previous insistence that it was up to Kiev to make that decision.