Excerpts from the Permanent Representative of Russia to the EU Vladimir Chizhov’s interview for “The Guardian”

Submitted on Tue, 02/15/2022 - 16:55

In connection with certain strange excitement and requests from the media and citizens to clarify statements by the Permanent Representative of Russia to the EU Vladimir Chizhov on the situation around Ukraine made in his interview for “The Guardian” (15 February 2022), we are publishing by agreement with the latter the full version of the Ambassador's comments. We hope that this will help avoid misunderstandings and distortions, as well as malicious provocations aimed at further exacerbating tensions regarding Russia and the situation in the region and in Europe as a whole.

We see that in practice, in real life NATO is already beginning to operate in Ukrainian territory in terms of special forces, trainers, huge amounts of armaments, including modern antitank weapons and many other things. Moreover, that activity is pushing Ukraine towards conflict with Russia. Unfortunately, today’s Ukraine has a lot of, I would say, hot heads. You could call them “the party of war”. I won’t tell you any names, but it’s quite obvious that many are only too happy to receive military hardware from the West. And you know, of course, about that military systems and those three digit or even four-digit numbers of NATO troops that are currently in Ukraine – and not only Ukraine, but in Poland along the border with Belarus, in the Baltics, basically almost along the whole stretch of Russian border.

Imagine Ukraine being a member of NATO, and Ukraine’s strategic concept includes the option of retaking Donbass and Crimea by force. So, if they become crazy enough to try to do that, it will be Article Five popping up immediately, so are we supposed to start a war with NATO? Or vice versa, is NATO prepared to start a war with Russia? That’s where the danger lies.

You don’t really believe that Russia blocks any country. The blockade is one by Ukraine against Crimea, not only an economic one but also an existential blockade in terms of cutting water supply.

We will not invade Ukraine unless we are provoked to do that. If the Ukrainians launch an attack against Russia, you shouldn’t be surprised if we counterattack. Or if they start blatantly killing Russian citizens anywhere – Donbass or wherever.

What I mean by provocation is that they may stage an incident against the self-proclaimed Donbass republics, provoking them, and then hitting them with all their might, thus provoking Russia to react in order to avoid humanitarian catastrophe on its borders.

Because we certainly cannot allow those people who suffered enough at the hands of the Ukrainian army to be slaughtered like sheep. Besides, a number of them are Russian citizens.

There are no Russian troops in Ukraine. So when the West speaks of “further Russian aggression”, it’s a lie because there has never been a Russian aggression against Ukraine at any point in history.