Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who is now the deputy of Russia’s Security Council, warned Thursday (May 12) that the US and NATO risk a direct conflict with Russia and a “full-fledged” nuclear war by pouring weapons into Ukraine.
“The pumping of Ukraine by NATO countries with weapons, the training of its troops to use Western equipment, the dispatch of mercenaries and the conduct of exercises by the countries of the Alliance near our borders increase the likelihood of a direct and open conflict between NATO and Russia instead of their ‘war by proxy,’” Medvedev wrote on Telegram.
“Such a conflict always has the risk of turning into a full-fledged nuclear war,” Medvedev added. “This will be a disastrous scenario for everyone.”
“Finland Will Be a NATO Backwater”: Russia Threatens “Military and Technical” Response
A Kremlin spokesman warned on Thursday (May 12) that Finland joining NATO would “definitely” be a threat that would trigger “retaliatory steps”—but stopped short of identifying specific possible courses of action.
“NATO is moving toward us. That’s of course why all of this will warrant a special analysis and the development of necessary measures needed to balance the situation and guarantee our security,” the initial Kremlin response stated.
Later in the day—a number of hours after Finland’s president Sauli Niinisto and Prime Minister Sanna Marin announced the country will apply for NATO membership “without delay”— Russian Ambassador to the EU Vladimir Chizhov elaborated on Moscow’s likely response in an interview with Sky News.
“Russia will be forced to take retaliatory steps, both of military and other nature, in order to curtail the threats that arise to its national security in this regard,” Chizhov stressed in the interview when asked about its neighbor Finland as well as Sweden applying to NATO.
The Russian ambassador added that he’s “deeply disappointed and saddened” by the development, while saying in a somewhat condescending tone that Finland has been “pushing above its weight, having become in the last few decades a major power in promoting European security architecture.”
Further he said the Scandinavian neighbor which shares an 810-mile border with Russia would inevitably become a “NATO backwater” if it does move forward in entering the military alliance.
Russia’s UN ambassador also warned of military consequences in a Thursday statement:
“As soon as Finland and Sweden become members of NATO and military units of the alliance are there, these territories will become a possible target for the Russian military.”