The bear bares its teeth
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Saturday that NATO is "balancing on the edge of war," and that if the alliance does not accede to Russian demands, his country will employ whatever "ways, means, and solutions" are necessary "to ensure our security," The Associated Press reports.
These statements come one day after Russia submitted two draft treaties for NATO's consideration. According to BBC, these treaties demand binding guarantees that Ukraine and Georgia will not be admitted to NATO and that the alliance will curtail its military deployments in Eastern Europe.
NATO is unlikely to agree to these terms. "NATO member countries decide who is a member of NATO, not Russia," White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters earlier this month, The Washington Post reported.
More than 14,000 people have been killed since 2014 in fighting between Ukrainian government troops and Russian-backed separatists in the eastern part of the country. Around 95,000 Russian troops are currently massed on the Ukrainian border, and some intelligence analysts believe an invasion is immanent.
"Russia should be in no doubt that further military aggression against Ukraine would have massive consequences and severe cost," the G7 nations said in a draft statement Reuters obtained Sunday.
After a Dec. 7 call with President Vladimir Putin, President Biden said he told the Russian leader an invasion would result in economic sanctions "like nothing he's ever seen."