On Wednesday, Russia warned that they have “retaliatory measures” ready if the United States and its allies in NATO reject security demands for the Ukraine border and push through their “aggressive” policies. This entirely ignores U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris’ threats of direct action that she made just 24 hours earlier.
Russia continues to deny that it has plans to invade Ukraine. However, many critics also point to the 100,000 troops gathered near the border and the war games ongoing in the region as evidence for future intent.
According to the Associated Press, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov spoke to lawmakers on Wednesday, saying that he, along with other top officials, will Russian President Vladimir Putin on what to do next after they received written replies from the U.S. regarding the demands.
Because our Commander In Chief can’t communicate in complete sentences.
US hands Russia written response to demands, says up to Kremlin how to proceed https://t.co/XDAX81nSyv
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) January 26, 2022
Russia wants guarantees from NTO that the latter will never let Ukraine and other former Soviet nations join its ranks and for the alliance to remove troop deployments in other ex-Soviet bloc countries.
The said answers were expected by Friday, despite the Western allies making it clear that they will turn down Russia’s top demands.
“If the West continues its aggressive course, Moscow will take the necessary retaliatory measures,” Lavrov said.
As Russia waits for the U.S.’s reply, Lavrov stated that it wouldn’t wait for it forever. “We won’t allow our proposals to be drowned in endless discussions,” he said.
According to NATO, this week, it was bolstering its deterrence in the region around the Baltic Sea. Additionally, the U.S. ordered 8,500 troops to go on high alert for a possible deployment to Europe. Western nations have also transported multiple planes worth of weapons to help Ukraine in strengthening its defenses.
While tensions escalate, officials from Ukraine have tried to calm nerves.
On Wednesday, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba stated that as the concentration of Russian troops near their border poses a threat, “their number is now insufficient for a large-scale offensive.”
“They are still missing some key military elements and systems to mount a big, full-scale offensive,” he told reporters.
Russia, Kuleba said, wants to destabilize his country by “spreading panic, raising pressure on Ukraine’s financial system and launching cyberattacks.”
Russia and Ukraine are on the brink of war, and we have US troops on the ground.
What is Joe Biden doing?
Shopping and eating ice cream.
— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) January 26, 2022