US sanctions could spark Russian invasion of eastern Ukraine, Russian state media claims
The editor in chief of RT, Margarita Simonyan, has warned of a strong Russian response to United States sanctions on the country and the expulsion of ten diplomats
US sanctions on Russia could be met with a full-scale invasion of eastern Ukraine, according to the editor in chief of the Kremlin-funded RT.
On Thursday the United States announced sanctions against Russia and the expulsion of 10 diplomats in retaliation for what Washington says is the Kremlin’s U.S. election interference, a huge cyber attack and other hostile activity.
The action came amid a build-up of Russian troops and armour close to Ukraine’s eastern border and in occupied Crimea.
Margarita Simonyan, RT’s editor in chief who typically takes an aggressive stance when it comes to Ukraine, questioned whether the Russian invasion of Donbass would be considered proportionate.
“Would taking Donbass home be seen as an asymmetric answer…?” she asked of the Ukrainian region which borders Russia.
“And would bringing Donbass home be considered the inevitable answer?”
Her strong words were matched by Maria Zakharova, Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman.
She said: “We have warned the US on numerous occasions of the consequences of their hostile steps, which dangerously raise the degree of confrontation between our countries.”
“The US is not ready to accept the objective reality of a multi-polar world which rules out American hegemony. It prefers sanctions, pressure and meddling in our internal affairs,” she added.
“Such aggressive behaviour will undoubtedly be met with a decisive response.
“A response to the sanctions is unavoidable. Washington must realise that it will have to pay a price for the degradation of bilateral relations.”
“Responsibility for what is going on fully rests with the US.”
The US measures were announced just two days after President Joe Biden had a first conversation as president with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin and suggested that they hold a summit
Leonid Slutsky, chairman of the Russian parliament’s international affairs committee, said: “It is difficult to talk about the prospects for a meeting between Putin and Biden against the background of new US sanctions.”
The move acts to “devalue the constructive tone of this conversation” between the two presidents in their recent phone call, he said.
Yesterday the Mirror reported that Russian forces massing on Ukraine’s border had daubed assault vehicles with ominous “invasion stripes,” heightening fears of all-out war breaking out.