Russia denounces “false flag” allegations

January 15, 2022 - 19:2

Accusations by the United States that Russia is creating some type of pretext as a reason to invade Ukraine are unfounded and lack any substance. That’s according to the Russian Embassy in Washington which says the accusations confirm what the embassy has described as an “ongoing information pressure” campaign on Moscow.

In remarks on social media, the diplomatic mission said, "We noted the statement of the White House and Department of Defense Press Secretaries during their briefings on January 14 about Russia’s alleged preparation of some kind of pretext for the invasion of Ukraine.”

The embassy’s statement added that “representatives of the administration are already describing in detail the scenarios of such provocations, naming the dates of the eventual start of ‘operations’. As usual, there is no evidence”

"Such statements confirm the incessant information pressure on our country. Moreover, the same scenario is repeated: there is a ‘stuffing’ of a sensation, which then, repeated many times by the media, turns into the main news,” the embassy said, adding, "Russia is against the war. We stand for a diplomatic solution to all international problems".

The remarks come amid increasingly strained relations between Russia and the U.S.-led North Atlantic Alliance.

Western media reports have cited unnamed U.S. officials claiming that Russia is devising a “false flag” incident in order to invade Ukraine.

Likewise, the Kremlin has dismissed the accusations as baseless and unfounded rumors.

Anonymous U.S. officials have also repeated claims by Ukraine that Russia had sent “operatives” into the  regions of Donetsk and Lugansk, to prepare some form of “provocation” that could trigger an “invasion.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov says “so far, all these statements have been unsubstantiated and not backed up by anything”

According to the Russian embassy’s statement "for our part, we would like to warn our colleagues against such adventures. Once again, we declare: the continuous accusations against us in the United States (both at the official level and in the media) are unfounded and cannot have any confirmation”.

The statement added “[Russia] calls on the United States to engage in substantive work to ensure security guarantees based on the draft agreements proposed by the Russian side".

Speaking at a press conference, the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov has slammed Washington’s recent demands, that Russia send its troops (allegedly positioned at the Ukrainian border) back to their barracks, as “barking up the wrong tree.” According to the top Russian diplomat “the time that this has been chosen [to be discussed] simply reflects a period when the West gets mad, let’s be frank.”

He says Moscow expects the United States and NATO to provide written responses on the issue of security guarantees noting “we expect our colleagues to give responses, written responses, putting their proposals on paper like we did”.

In mid-December last year, the Russian Foreign Ministry released a draft agreement related to security guarantees between Russia and the United States.

The ministry also released a draft proposal on ensuring the security of Russia and NATO member states.

Several rounds of talks ensued on the matter this month in Geneva and Brussels where a meeting of the Russia-NATO Council took place as well as a session of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Permanent Council in Vienna.

However, according to the top official, the Russian side is still waiting for the West to give “a concrete answer” to its security proposals.

Following the high-level talks, the U.S. and its allies rejected Russia’s key proposals out of hand. NATO has instead taken military steps that has left Moscow frustrated. Lavrov says “we categorically cannot be satisfied with this – these are unacceptable approaches”.

He accused the European Union of wanting to “contribute to the training of anti-Russian units.” He also pointed out that “meanwhile, we will certainly continue activities to make sure that we are prepared for any kind of developments”.

According to Lavrov, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his U.S. counterpart Joe Biden (in Geneva last June) emphasized the need for dialogue on all issues related to security and stability at their meeting.

Analysts say Moscow’s patience has a limit and it will take measures to guarantee its security; if those guarantees are not provided by the West.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told local

media his county may assign its Navy to take certain measures to confront any future U.S. provocations or continued U.S. military pressure.

When questioned if Russia considers deploying its military in countries such as Venezuela or Cuba, Ryabkov said, "I don’t want to confirm anything, but I won’t rule anything out either."

"It’s the American style to have several options for its foreign and military policy" he said. "That’s the cornerstone of that country’s powerful influence in the world."

Russia will act depending on what the U.S. will do, the deputy minister added.

The diplomat also denounced the EU saying the bloc is “now actively promoting their plans to send a military coaching mission to Ukraine.”

NATO Chief, Jens Stoltenberg, says the organization was ready to discuss issues such as restrictions on the location of its missiles near Russian borders but also made clear NATO will not compromise on it’s “core values” to meet Russian demands.

Stoltenberg insisted that “only Ukraine and 30 allies can decide when Ukraine becomes a member... Russia does not have a veto”.

Moscow argues it has previously received strong assurances on the matter and U.S. led NATO alliance cannot be trusted.

For weeks now, Washington has been accusing Moscow of planning to invade Ukraine, though the Kremlin has rejected the accusations as “fake news.” Every year since 2015, U.S. media have been reporting similar warnings, always based on anonymous sources, but the allegations have never materialized.

According to military experts, the latest accusations by the West came after Russia conducted military exercises nears its own borders which triggered demands from the west for an immediate explanation amid “concerns” Moscow was about to invade its neighbor Ukraine.

However, experts note the Russian drills involved 3,000 soldiers at a combined arms training ground in four regions, armed with military equipment that would equal one regiment. They say one regiment should not have caused such widespread outrage by the west as it is simply not enough force to cause concern regarding an invasion.

In addition, training exercises are pre-planned in advance and not conducted overnight, they take place on a regular basis annually which further erodes the U.S. and NATO’s argument.

As it happens, according to a statement by the Russian Ministry of Defense, troops in the country’s Far East have begun winter drills. Military officials announced that forces stationed in the Eastern Military District, which covers a vast swath of land from Siberia to the Sea of Japan, were undertaking inspections and exercises intended to ensure their military readiness.

In December, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu had announced the upcoming exercises for 2022, called “East” and “Thunder”.

In addition to those in the Far East, exercises will also take place in the western part of the country, including near the border with Ukraine. Analysts say it would not be surprising if Western officials and media begin talking about a possible invasion of Ukraine once again.

Critics say it’s just a pretext for the U.S. to encourage NATO to place its missiles and advanced military hardware near Russian borders; again to try and provoke Moscow.

Some critics say Western arms manufacturers benefit from the mounting tension, others say some hawks actually want to start a conflict with Russia to perhaps weaken the eastern superpower.

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