Russia’s top diplomat accuses the US and NATO of risking a ‘nightmare scenario of military confrontation’ amid tensions over Ukraine


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"The alliance's military infrastructure is being irresponsibly brought closer to Russia's borders in Romania and Poland, deploying an anti-missile defence system that can be used as a strike complex," Lavrov said in remarks at a conference of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), per BBC News.

The top Russian diplomat's comments came amid fears that Moscow is planning an invasion of Ukraine. Tens of thousands of Russian troops have gathered along Ukraine's border.

Meanwhile, Ukraine has said that 90,000 Russian troops have amassed along its border. Russia denies any plans to invade, but the West is not taking Putin's word for it. 

The top US diplomat reiterated to Lavrov that the "US and our allies are prepared to impose significant costs" if Moscow chooses the "path of military escalation," State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a readout of the meeting. Blinken "underscored that the best path forward is diplomacy," Price added. 

Sounds more like Russia was posturing and now are changing the narrative before they depart so they get a favorable response domestically.

Same thing happened in april:

As the hostile rhetoric and military moves around Ukraine have intensified, Western politicians have begun fearing an open invasion and urging Russia's Vladimir Putin to "de-escalate".

Russia has refused: the defence ministry this week insisted its moves were in response to "threatening" Nato exercises in Europe.

Then Mr Putin got a phone-call from the White House.

'Biden blinked'

"In Putin's game of brinkmanship, Biden blinked first," argues journalist Konstantin Eggert, after Joe Biden made his first call to the Kremlin and proposed meeting Mr Putin "in the coming months".

President Biden's new move is now a new topic of debate - disaster prevention or a mistaken concession - but in the run-up to a summit, the risk of major military action by Russia certainly fades.

"That would be really unstatesmanlike: a slap in Biden's face," Mr Eggert told the BBC. "But the fact that it was Biden who suggested they meet does give Putin the edge."

Sending signals - not soldiers

Russian state TV certainly thinks so.

Hosts and guests alike on political chat shows have been hailing Moscow's show of force, claiming their country stood up to US and Nato hostility. One commentator suggested President Biden's "nerves had failed him".

Senator Konstantin Kosachev was widely quoted arguing that the US had realised it was "impossible to achieve military superiority over Russia" and the two countries needed to return to dialogue.

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