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Russia warns of military response if NATO ignores concerns

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Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov has warned his country is ready for a military response if NATO keeps ignoring Moscow’s security concerns.

“I said that we would find forms to respond, including by military and military-technical means [if NATO ignores Moscow’s concerns again],” the high-ranking Russian diplomat told TASS on Monday.

“I reaffirm this. We will have to balance the activities that are of concern to us, because they increase the risks, with our countermeasures,” Ryabkov added.

The senior Russian diplomat also stressed that Russia would seek to prevent this scenario and was aware of the need to hold a dialogue to avoid serious implications.

On December 17, the Russian Foreign Ministry released two Russian draft documents on the provision of legal security guarantees from the United States and NATO.

Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier called on NATO to begin substantive talks on reliable long-term security guarantees to Russia. He stressed that Russia needs legally binding guarantees because the West has failed to fulfill its verbal commitments.

As Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, Presidential Aide Yury Ushakov told US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan that Moscow was ready to immediately begin talks on draft documents on security guarantees. Russia will be represented at these talks by Ryabkov.

Earlier, Peskov stated Moscow is considering various moves in response to NATO’s possible deployment of weapons near Russia’s borders.

When asked if Russia could deploy nuclear weapons to Belarus, he noted, “It is no secret that the deployment of various kinds of weapons near our borders, which can pose danger to us, clearly requires adequate steps to balance the situation. Various options are available.”

Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei said earlier that the former Soviet state was ready to host nuclear weapons on its soil if a threat emanated from NATO. President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus, in turn, stated that Minsk would propose Moscow take such measures if NATO deployed nuclear weapons to Poland.

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