Sergey Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, said last week that he is not worried about the prospect of NATO officially joining the war effort and fighting for Ukraine after the near constant saber-rattling from Brussels.
Lavrov spoke about NATO’s opposition to peace plans that call for freezing the conflict because it would mean Russian troops stay in place and Moscow gets the chance to rearm for another offensive. (See “CHINA RESPONDS TO CRITICISM FROM U.S., WEST OVER UKRAINE PEACE PROPOSAL,” 28 Mar 2023).
Jens Stoltenberg, NATO secretary-general, said earlier this month that everyone wants the war to end, but “for peace to be sustainable, it must be just. Peace cannot mean freezing the conflict and accepting a deal dictated by Russia.”
The West has said Ukraine should determine its own future. Kyiv’s position is that Russia must exit the country, face war-crime charges, and pay for the rebuilding effort.
Lavrov has rejected the Ukraine deal as a non-starter and has blamed the Alliance for promoting the war through weapon shipments.
“If NATO, through the mouth of Stoltenberg, once again declares that they are against freezing, as they say, the conflict in Ukraine, then they want to fight,” Lavrov said. “Well, let them fight. We are ready for this. We have long understood the goals of NATO in the situation around Ukraine, which have been formed for many years.”
TRENDPOST: The Trends Journal has long said most Americans know nothing about the history and how the U.S. and the West have spent years preparing Kyiv for this war. (See “RUSSIA SAYS NO UKRAINE WAR IF KYIV ABIDED MINSK AGREEMENT” 17 Jan 2023 and “VICTORIA ‘FUCK THE EU’ NULAND WHO SPEARHEADED OVERTHROW OF DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED PRESIDENT OF UKRAINE IN 2014, STILL IN POWER” 22 Feb 2022.)
In the weeks leading up to the February 2022 invasion, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who made a fortune working with defense contractors when he’s not in politics, failed to recognize Russia’s legitimate security concerns about NATO expansion in Ukraine.
Russia saw Ukraine as the ultimate red line and considered the West’s military relationship with Ukraine as an existential threat and was willing to go to war.
“We saw how the military infrastructure was unfolding, how hundreds of foreign advisers had begun to work there, with the most modern weapons being regularly delivered from NATO countries,” Putin said during his Victory Day speech in 2022. “The danger was growing every day. Russia offered a pre-emptive rebuff to the aggression—this was a forced, timely move and the only correct decision, one taken by a strong and independent country.”
Putin acknowledged for the first time in a video address last year that he inquired about NATO membership with then-President Bill Clinton during his U.S. counterpart’s visit to Moscow. Putin said he asked how a Russian membership would go over in the U.S.
“I would not give you all the details of that conversation,” Putin said. “But the reaction to my conversation—look, well, let me put it this way. How did Americans really look at this possibility? You can see it in their practical stance. Open support of the terrorists in North Caucasus, ignoring our demands and concerns, withdrawing from the arms limitation treaties, and so on.”
Lavrov Warns Against F-16s
Lavrov said Moscow has expressed concerns that the West will provide Ukraine with F-16s that are capable of carrying nuclear warheads, and said its forces will have to respond accordingly.
His comments to RT TV came before the Financial Times published an article that cited Frank St John, Lockheed Martin’s chief operating officer, who said, “We are standing by, ready to not only backfill need as it arises with new F-16 builds but also any modifications to F-16s as well as training, equipment, and systems.”
Lavrov said the F-16 would be a significant escalation because the jet can be modified to carry nukes.
“We have stated this publicly. We voiced our strongest concern at the meeting of experts of the Nuclear Five nations at the UN Security Council,” he said. “The Americans tried to downplay the issue saying, do you really think we will give Ukraine jets carrying nuclear weapons? We said that we are not even thinking. Our systems monitoring those jets will not be able to tell a plane carrying nuclear weapons from the one that is not carrying them. To answer your question about our response, it will be made by the military. They know what is to be done.”
F-16 jets can be made to carry the B61 nuclear bomb.
The U.S. Air Force budget request for Fiscal Year 2015 shows that integration of the B61-12 on NATO F-16 and Tornado aircraft, the Federation of American Scientists reported.
TREND FORECAST: The addition of the F-16 in the Ukrainian arsenal will not change anything because these fourth-generation jets will not stand a chance against Russian fighters and missile batteries. Much like HIMARS and Leopard 2 tanks that were supposed to be a game changer, these jets will just be another provocation.