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25 Jan, 2024 10:01

NATO trying to intimidate Russia – Moscow’s top spy

The West is waging an “information war” to dissuade the Kremlin from pushing on against Ukraine, Sergey Naryshkin has said
NATO trying to intimidate Russia – Moscow’s top spy

Western speculation about a potential Russian attack on NATO is aimed only at frightening Moscow and forcing it to abandon its goals in the Ukraine conflict, Sergey Naryshkin, the head of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) has said.

In an interview with RIA Novosti on Thursday, Naryshkin described the warnings of numerous Western officials as part of an “information war” being waged against both Russia and the populations of their own countries. This type of warfare seeks “to justify… the West’s existing aggression against Russia,” he said.

According to the intel chief, by conducting “hybrid” actions, the West is trying to intimidate Moscow by raising the possibility of a full-scale direct conflict between Russia and NATO. “The Westerners emphasize their belligerence, their mobilization readiness, hoping to influence Russia so that it… abandons its plans… and goals of the special military operation,” he explained, adding that he considered the attempts futile.

Naryshkin’s remarks come after Admiral Rob Bauer, the chair of the NATO Military Committee, warned the US-led military bloc that it must brace for a major clash with Russia within the next 20 years – one which would require the mass mobilization of civilians.

Earlier this month, the German tabloid Bild also reported, citing a classified document, that Berlin was preparing for Russia to launch an “open attack” on NATO in mid-2025 following battlefield victories against Ukraine. Moscow has scorned the prediction as a “zodiac forecast.”

While NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said that the bloc sees no direct threat from Russia at the moment, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius has warned that his country should be ready to repel a possible Russian offensive, and urged NATO members to arm themselves for such an eventuality.

Russian officials have repeatedly dismissed purported plans to attack the alliance as “nonsense,” with President Vladimir Putin insisting that Moscow has no interest whatsoever in doing so. Still, Moscow has voiced concerns for decades about NATO’s expansion towards its borders, particularly the bloc’s push to integrate Ukraine.