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6 May, 2024 11:06

Western leaders are ‘infantile morons’ – Medvedev

The US and its allies need a reminder of the nuclear risk posed by the Ukraine conflict, Dmitry Medvedev believes
Western leaders are ‘infantile morons’ – Medvedev

The US, the UK, France and other Western nations should take a Russian nuclear drill as a reminder of where escalation of the Ukraine conflict could take them, former President Dmitry Medvedev has said.

On Monday, the Russian Defense Ministry announced an imminent exercise to test the capability to deploy non-strategic nuclear weapons. It said the training was ordered by President Vladimir Putin after “provocative statements and threats” by Western officials.

Medvedev, who serves as deputy head of the Russian Security Council, referred to debates in the West about possible deployment of NATO troops to Ukraine, as well as “active encouragement [of Kiev] to use [Western] missile weapons against the entire Russian territory” as grounds for the drill.

Russia “will have to respond” to the proposed deployment of Western soldiers, “and this response will not be” in Ukraine, the Russian official warned. In that case “there will be no hiding on Capitol Hill, in the Elysee Palace or at 10 Downing Street.”

The situation is comparable to the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, according to Medvedev. He said current Western elites were “infantile morons” who refuse to see the risk, unlike US President John F. Kennedy and Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, who managed to walk back the escalation six decades ago.

French President Emmanuel Macron has been advocating “strategic ambiguity” regarding Ukraine, maintaining that he could not exclude deployment of troops to the country under certain conditions. Multiple Western leaders said they had no intention to send their soldiers to fight Russia on Ukraine’s behalf, after he voiced his idea in February.

Macron’s rhetoric may be explained by his ambition to make France the leader among EU members, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has suggested.

UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron told Reuters last week that Kiev “has the right” to use British-provided missiles to strike targets deep inside Russia.

For years, major Western arms donors were reportedly conditioning their aid on Kiev’s pledge not to use the weapons outside of the territory that it claims. US Ambassador to Ukraine Bridget Brink said American policy remained unchanged following Cameron’s remark.

On Sunday, Democratic House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries claimed that “there’s a significant likelihood that America will have to get into the conflict – not simply with our money, but with our servicewomen and our servicemen” in the event of Ukrainian defeat.

A victorious Russia would pose a threat to NATO, he reasoned during an interview with CBS News, repeating the case for continued aid made by the Biden administration for months. Moscow has said it has no intention of starting a direct conflict with the US-led military bloc.

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