Moscow has warned the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) that any move to join Ukraine in the bloc will have consequences, the state news agency RIA reported, citing Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko
The RIA said on Thursday (21) that Rudenko was asked about comments by US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on a visit to Ukraine this week when he said Washington supported Kiev’s aspiration to join the transatlantic alliance. and that no country could veto such a measure.
Also Thursday, defense ministers of NATO member countries are expected to agree on a new plan to defend themselves against any potential Russian attack on multiple fronts, reaffirming the alliance’s core objective of deterring Moscow despite the growing focus on Russia. China.
The strategy aims to prepare countries for simultaneous attacks in the Baltic and Black Sea regions, which could include nuclear weapons, hacking computer networks and attacks from space.
Officials emphasize that they do not believe any Russian attack is imminent. Moscow denies any aggressive intentions and says it is NATO that threatens to destabilize Europe with such preparations.
In May, Russia assembled about 100,000 troops on its border with Ukraine, the highest number since Moscow annexed Crimea in 2014, Western officials said. In September, Russia used new combat robots in major military exercises with its former Soviet ally Belarus, which alarmed the Baltic countries.
With Russia upgrading or replacing Soviet military space systems to potentially attack orbiting satellites, developing artificial intelligence-based technologies to disrupt enemy command systems, Moscow is also developing “superweapons.”
Unveiled in 2018, they include nuclear-capable hypersonic cruise missiles that can evade early warning systems.
“The assumption so far was that Russia was an inconvenience, but not an imminent threat. But the Russians are doing some worrying things. They’re training with robotics, and hypersonic cruise missiles can be very worrying,” said Jamie Shea, a former senior NATO official and now a member of Think Thank Friends of Europe in Brussels.
(*With information from Reuters Agency)