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Russia’s Ryabkov: No Normalization of Relations Unless U.S./NATO Get Real

Sergey Ryabkov, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. UN Photo / Violaine Martin

An armed conflict between Russia and NATO is not outside the realm of possibility, but such an escalation would wholly depend on the actions of the North Atlantic Alliance, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told Izvestia in an interview published Nov. 29, reported TASS. According to him, the bloc’s expansion policy is unlikely to change and, thus, Russia and NATO would hardly be able to restore relations anytime soon.

“If anyone in the West thinks that we need these relations and will at some point come begging for their restoration, that is a case of profound wishful thinking,” TASS quoted Ryabkov as saying. The senior diplomat stressed that Russia was prepared to make agreements only based on equality and mutual respect, but, he said, NATO has problems with that. He believes that any potential armed conflict between Russia and NATO “depends on the North Atlantic Alliance…. The choice is NATO’s to make. As we have already made clear, we are ready to protect our national interests using all of the resources that we have at our disposal,” Ryabkov emphasized.

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