Russian diplomat doesn’t rule out deployments in Cuba and Venezuela

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia raised the stakes Thursday in its confrontation with the West over Ukraine, after a high Kremlin diplomat warned {that a} Russian army deployment to Cuba and Venezuela can’t be dominated out if tensions with the United States escalate. .

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, who led the Russian delegation in Monday’s negotiations in Geneva, stated in televised remarks on Thursday that he may neither affirm nor exclude the opportunity of Russia establishing a army infrastructure in Cuba and Venezuela. Talks in Geneva and Wednesday’s assembly between Russia and NATO in Vienna failed to scale back discrepancies over Russian safety calls for, as Russia maintains troops mobilized close to Ukraine.

In an interview with Russian tv RTVI, Ryabkov reported that “it all depends on the actions of our American counterparts,” including that President Vladimir Putin has warned that Russia may take military-technical measures if the United States acts to impress Russia and lift army stress.

Ryabkov stated the United States and NATO have rejected Moscow’s major declare: a assure that the alliance won’t incorporate Ukraine and different former Soviet nations. He added that the good variations within the methods of the 2 sides solid doubt on the continuity of the negotiations.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov reported “some positive elements and nuances” through the talks, though he famous that the talks “failed” as a result of sharp disagreements on key Moscow calls for.

“The conversations were started to receive specific responses to specific major issues that were raised and disagreements remained on those major issues, which is bad,” he stated in a teleconference with reporters.

Peskov warned of a whole breakdown of US-Russian relations if the proposed sanctions in opposition to President Putin and different high civilian and army leaders are adopted. The measures, proposed by US Senate Democrats, would additionally goal Russia’s main monetary establishments if Moscow sends troops to Ukraine.

Peskov criticized the proposals as an try to extend stress on Moscow through the talks, saying it might not work.

“These are sanctions, which taking into account the inevitable adequate response, effectively amount to an initiative to break relations,” he warned. He added that Russia will reply in type to guard its pursuits.

The talks come as an estimated 100,000 combat-ready Russian troopers, tanks and heavy army tools are gathering close to Ukraine’s japanese border. The buildup has triggered deep considerations in Kiev and the West that Moscow is getting ready for an invasion. Russia denies that it’s contemplating an invasion and, in flip, accuses the West of threatening its safety by inserting army personnel and tools in Central and Eastern Europe.

In 2014, Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula and supported a separatist insurgency within the east of the nation, the place greater than seven years of combating has killed greater than 14,000 folks.

A 2015 peace accord brokered by France and Germany helped finish large-scale battles, however frequent skirmishes continued and efforts to barter a political settlement failed.

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Associated Press journalist Emily Schultheis in Vienna contributed to this report.

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