by WorldTribune Staff, December 14, 2021
During his call with Russian strongman Vladimir Putin last week, Joe Biden outlined the economic sanctions he said the West would impose if Russian forces invaded Ukraine.
Putin demanded that NATO halt its eastward expansion and not offer membership in NATO to Ukraine and Georgia.
Now the Kremlin is warning that it will respond “militarily” and deploy tactical nuclear weapons if NATO does not guarantee an end to its eastward expansion, VOA reported on Dec. 14.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told the state-run RIA Novosti news agency that Russia’s “response will be military,” if NATO continues to arm Ukraine. “A lack of progress towards a political-diplomatic solution would mean that our response will be military and military-technical.”
“There will be confrontation,” he added, saying Russia would deploy weapons previously banned under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, an arms control deal struck in 1987 by then US President Ronald Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev.
Analysts have long contended that Putin views Biden as a weak, easily-manipulated foe.
“Our adversaries have clear goals and iron fists, we have a fumbling, mumbling president who leads an alliance of largely disarmed welfare states formerly known as NATO. Our military is a woke but sleeping giant,” Michael Goodwin wrote in a Dec. 7 analysis for the New York Post.
“As presidents go, Biden is an especially weak one. He can’t unite his own party in Congress, and members of various factions feel no need to give him the legislation he wants. Nobody fears him,” Goodwin added.
The Kremlin contends that NATO is helping Kyiv to build up its forces and is being supplied with a significant number of weapons, including modern high-tech weapons.
In Kyiv on Tuesday, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian affairs Karen Donfried reassured Ukrainian officials of Washington’s continued commitment to Ukraine’s independence and territorial integrity. Donfried is due to meet Ryabkov in Moscow later this week.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who is pressing NATO to admit his country as a member, told reporters Tuesday, “Ukraine gave up its nuclear arsenal in exchange of security guarantees from Russia. They were never respected. How can we trust any Russian promises?”