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– Russia has no plans for any attack – Dagsavisen

– Russia has no plans for any attack – Dagsavisen

This came according to what the official Russian news agency reported, citing Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova palm.

– It says that Russia has no plans to launch any attack, whether directly or indirectly, against anyone.

Zakharova believes this is in stark contrast to NATO doctrine.

A united West points to Russia as a direct threat, she says.

We believe in the American conflict with Russia

These statements come in the wake of the actions of US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. Austin stated during a congressional hearing that if Russia wins the war in Ukraine, it could directly involve the United States and NATO against the Russians.

– If Ukraine falls, I really think NATO will end up in a battle with Russia (“Battle with,” journ.anm.) Russia, Austin said. Due to time constraints during the session, the Minister was not given the opportunity to provide further details.

Nupi researcher Carsten Friis told Dagsavisen that he believes Austin made the statement to put pressure on the GOP regarding the proposed support package for Ukraine.

– I think Austin is right in the sense that if Russia wins, it will have importance beyond Ukraine's borders. This means that brute force will prevail, which means that we live in a different world than the rules-based world. Putin and other authoritarian leaders will certainly feel empowered. They will continue to put pressure on Europe and other democracies, even more than they already do through cyber operations, influence and sabotage, Friis told Dagsaviesen.

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That is why it is so important to ensure Ukraine wins – and Russian aggression fails. This war worries us in the West greatly. It's not something we can “opt out of,” the researcher added.

NATO exercise

Austin's comments were quickly condemned by Kremlin officials, including Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Now Zakharova is also warning.

NATO must realize that any threat to Russia will be responded to, she said.

The Spokesman also comments on the ongoing NATO exercise “Northern Response”, in which more than 20,000 soldiers are participating.

– Such actions against our country are of an aggressive and provocative nature. “We are witnessing a spiral of escalation,” says Zakharova, who has previously strongly opposed the practice.

In this regard, Zakharova received criticism from the former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden, Carl Bildt, for her statements about the Northern response and what she then also claimed was NATO aggression.

– This is of course nonsense. Bildt wrote on the formerly known X website on Twitter that NATO is an exclusively military defense alliance, and the alliance’s exercises revolve around defending the territory of member states.

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Former Prime Minister Carl Bildt in a photo from 2018. Photograph: Hanna Franzén/TT/NTB

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Facts about Article 5 of NATO

  • NATO's defense alliance has been built on the foundation of the Atlantic Charter since 1949.
  • Article 5 of the Treaty stipulates that an armed attack against one or more member states in Europe or North America is an attack against all of them. In the event of such an attack, the Member State alone will decide for itself the means by which it will respond to the attack.
  • This article has been applied once, in relation to the terrorist attack on the United States of America on September 11, 2001.

(Source: NTB)

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