Russia says sending international peacekeepers to Ukraine would be ‘very reckless’

Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov meets Turkish Foreign Minister Cavusoglu in Moscow
FILE PHOTO: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov attends a meeting with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu in Moscow, Russia March 16, 2022. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov/Pool/File Photo

March 23, 2022

(Reuters) – Russia on Wednesday condemned what it called a “reckless” Polish proposal to send international peacekeeping forces to Ukraine, warning it could lead to a direct clash between Russian and NATO forces.

Poland said last Friday that it would officially present a proposal for a peacekeeping mission in Ukraine at the next NATO summit.

When asked about the initiative, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “It would be a very reckless and extremely dangerous decision.”

He told reporters on a conference call that any potential contact between Russian and NATO forces “could have clear consequences that would be difficult to repair.”

Russia sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine on February 24 in what it described as a special operation to weaken its southern neighbor’s military capabilities and root out people it described as dangerous nationalists.

Ukrainian forces put up fierce resistance, and the West imposed sweeping sanctions on Russia to force it to withdraw its forces.

Last week the leader of Poland’s ruling party, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, said in Kyiv: “I think it is necessary to have a peacekeeping mission – NATO, possibly a broader international structure – but a mission that will be able to defend itself, which will continue to work on Ukrainian territory.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also attacked the proposal in a speech to staff and students at Moscow’s State Institute of International Relations on Wednesday.

“This will be the direct clash between Russian and NATO forces that everyone not only tried to avoid, but which in principle should not take place,” he said.

(Reuters report) Russia says sending international peacekeepers to Ukraine would be ‘very reckless’

Bobby Allyn

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