Asked by a journalist whether an armed conflict between the Alliance and Russia could be expected in the future, Ryabkov said that it depends entirely on the West, Russian media’s Izvestia reports.
“The choice is entirely on the side of NATO. We are ready, as it has already been demonstrated, to defend our national interests with all the means at our disposal.”
Ryabkov noted that the endless encroachment on Russian “core” interests represents a “dangerous path.”
“The people who continue to test us for strength must believe that there are no limits to their own ‘gambling’, in a game of raising the stakes. But they may end up among the losers,” he saidd.
The Russian official said he was afraid that relations between NATO and Russia will not improve in the near future, because it is excluded for reasons of both principle and practice.”
Ryabkov said that Russia had got by without relations with the alliance in the past: “We have always been ready to negotiate only on equal terms, which has always been a problem for the alliance and its members. And now, against the backdrop of what is happening, I do not understand the situation and the context in which this [restoration of relations] is possible.”
The journalist asked Ryabkov's opinion on the possibility of peace talks between Ukraine and Russia and the likelihood of ending of the war in Ukraine this year. Ryabkov said he saw no possibility of a truce.
“I just don't expect a truce, I expect that the goals of the SVO will certainly be met,” he said using the abbreviation of Moscow’s euphemism for its invasion – the special military operation.
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