Russia Threatens NATO with “Severe Consequences” for Expansion to the East

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The Deputy Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation warned NATO that Moscow would “stand its ground” and threatened the alliance with consequences. The EU, the UK and the US are considering possible sanctions against Moscow. Attempts to expand NATO to the east may lead to serious consequences for the alliance. This was stated in an interview published on Monday, December 13, to the Izvestia newspaper by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergei Ryabkov. “We will stand our ground: if the opponents go against it, they will see that their security will not be strengthened - the consequences will be severe for them,” Ryabkov said. He did not specify what he exactly meant by “severe consequences”, specifying only that NATO’s refusal to discuss this topic with Moscow “may result in weakening” the allies’ own security. The EU is considering new sanctions against Moscow The diplomat’s words came against a statement by the foreign ministers of the G7 countries. Following a two-day meeting in Liverpool, British Foreign Minister Liz Truss said that the G7 member states had sent a clear signal to Russian President Vladimir Putin: “We have made it clear that any Russian attack on Ukraine will have grave consequences and will be costly.” In turn, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrel, upon arrival at the meeting of the EU Foreign Ministers on December 13, said that the European Union, together with the United States and Great Britain, is considering new sanctions against Moscow, although specific decisions on this matter have not yet been taken. “We intend to send a strong signal to Russia that any aggression will come at a high price,” Borrel warned. Putin dodged the question of an attack on Ukraine During a video session on December 7, US President Joseph Biden threatened Russian leader Vladimir Putin with “tough sanctions, including economic ones” in the event of a military escalation of the conflict with Ukraine. Biden expressed the “strong concern” of both the US administration and US allies caused by the tightening of Russian troops to the border with Ukraine. Later, Vladimir Putin also commented on the summit with Biden. At a joint press conference with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in Moscow, Kommersant newspaper correspondent Andrei Kolesnikov asked the head of the Kremlin about a possible Russian attack on Ukraine. Putin called this question “provocative” and declined to respond. “Russia pursues a peaceful foreign policy, but it has the right to ensure its security in the medium and long term,” he said. DW