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Conflict May Go Beyond Ukraine if NATO Allies Make 'Adventurous' Moves - Russia's Deputy FM

© Sputnik / Grigoriy Sisoev / Go to the mediabankDeputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko
Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko - Sputnik International, 1920, 04.04.2024
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Statements of French President Emmanuel Macron about a possible sending of French troops to Ukraine are unacceptable, especially in times of the heated military and political situation in Europe, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko has said in an interview with Sputnik.
"The Russian Foreign Ministry has repeatedly commented on recent remarks by the French president about a possible sending of military personnel of the alliance's member states to the hostilities zone. Again, these ideas have been immediately disavowed by the NATO headquarters in Brussels, Washington and the majority of other capitals of the bloc's states. Nevertheless, these statements show the readiness to follow the path of escalation at a time when the West itself is suffering a strategic defeat 'on the ground.' Such 'claims,' no matter what foreign or domestic political goals they pursue, are unacceptable for responsible politicians, especially in times of the already heated military and political situation in Europe," Grushko has said.
He added that NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg "has repeatedly said that the alliance is not at war with Russia and is not a party to the conflict in Ukraine."
In late February, following a Paris-hosted conference on Ukraine, Macron said that Western leaders had discussed the possibility of sending troops to Ukraine and, although no consensus had been reached in this regard, nothing could be ruled out.
Following Macron's statement, other EU countries rushed to dismiss such plans, with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz saying that NATO had no intention of sending its troops to Ukraine. The Kremlin, in response to Macron’s comments, has said that a deployment of NATO troops to Ukraine would make a direct conflict between the alliance and Russia inevitable.
Президент Франции Эммануэль Макрон со своей собакой Немо во время встречи с вице-канцлером Германии и министром иностранных дел Германии в Елисейском дворце в Париже  - Sputnik International, 1920, 21.03.2024
Macron Sending Troops to Ukraine ‘Like a 'Poodle' Urinating on Odessa’
The conflict in Ukraine may go beyond its geographical borders as a result of "adventurous" actions of even one NATO country, Grushko said.
According to Grushko, French President Emmanuel Macron’s statement about the possibility of sending troops to Ukraine shows readiness to follow "the escalation path."
"As a result of the adventurous actions of even one or two NATO member states, the Ukrainian crisis could go beyond its geographic boundaries and reach a completely different scale," Grushko said.
The situation in the Russia-NATO relations has been deteriorating "predictably and deliberately," while communication channels have been reduced to a critically low level, Alexander Grushko said.
"The situation is predictably and deliberately deteriorating. NATO has launched a hybrid war against Russia. Washington and its satellites have done everything to reduce our interaction and channels of communication to a critical zero level," Grushko said.
The diplomat recalled that NATO halted civilian and military cooperation with Russia in April 2014.
"After that, Russian diplomats were expelled from the permanent mission to the alliance under far-fetched pretexts three times. In response to unfriendly steps, Russia was forced to suspend the work of its permanent mission to NATO. At the same time, the accreditation of the staff of the NATO Military Liaison Mission in Moscow was withdrawn, and the activities of the NATO Information Office in the Russian capital were terminated," Grushko said.

Russia Not Planning to Engage in Military Conflict With NATO

Russia has no intentions to engage in a military conflict with NATO or member states of the alliance, Grushko said.
"Whether the military bloc is ready for an open conflict with Russia, we should ask the NATO members themselves. In any case, we have no such intentions with regard to the member countries of the alliance," Grushko told Sputnik.
According to the diplomat, there is no point in discussing possible security agreements with the West as long as NATO considers Russia to be a direct threat.

"When NATO doctrinal documents qualify Russia as 'the most significant and direct threat,' it makes no sense to talk about any specific modalities of hypothetical agreements with the West," Grushko said when asked if Russia’s earlier proposals for security guarantees to NATO remain valid or they changed taking into account changes "on the ground."

Europe's Future Security Architecture Must Meet Russia's Interests

The future security architecture in Europe must meet the interests of Russia, NATO will not be able to build it against Moscow, Grushko has said in an interview with Sputnik.
"But if and when Western capitals realize that they will not be able to dictate their will to our country, just as they will not be able to build security without Russia, much less against it, then, perhaps, the opportunity will open up to talk about a new architecture. The fundamental point for us is that architecture must meet the security interests of Russia," Grushko said.
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