Moscow has no plans to invade Ukraine, said Stanislav Osadchiy, the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Cyprus, adding that Russian troops are on Russian territory and “pose no threat.”
In an interview with CNA, Osadchiy accuses western media of raising “hysteria” over Ukraine, while Western countries hope to avoid the questions Moscow is posing over “vital issues” concerning European security.
He also says that NATO is trying to approach the Russian border at a distance which “from our point of view, is unacceptable for Russia’s security.” This, according to the Ambassador, will lead to additional response measures and will further deteriorate Europe’s security situation.
We fully understand that if Brussels puts forward new sanctions, Cyprus will be obliged to vote in favor, he says, adding that, without any doubt, this “will not add warmth” in Cyprus-Russia relations.
In his interview with CNA, Ambassador Osadchiy says the rhetoric of western media during the last one and a half months has been accurately described by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov as “hysteria.” From the part of the US, NATO and EU we even heard specific dates predicting the start of a “military offensive” by Russia, he goes on, adding that “Russian troops are stationed in their own territory and pose no threat.”
During all this time, the country’s senior leadership assured on a daily basis, through statements, that Russia has no plans to invade Ukraine, the Ambassador says, echoing Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who said that “we don’t want a war.”
He further points to a situation, which he describes as being on the verge of “insanity” and notes that even Ukraine’s President Zelensky “appears to have been scared by so much tension, and was forced to call on everyone to calm down, trying to persuade even US President Joe Biden, that the Ukrainian side has no information pointing to preparations for an offensive.”
Osadchiy reiterates a recent statement by Lavrov who said that "if it depends on the Russian Federation, there will be no war.”
Asked about efforts for a permanent ceasefire, the Ambassador says that all of them failed due to the Ukrainian side, as reported by the OSCE special monitoring mission.
Russia called the attention of its partners, asking Germany and France – the EU member states who played an important role in ending the conflict in Minsk – to exert their influence on Kiev in order to terminate attacks against Donbas, however, Osadchiy says, our western partners “display solidarity with the Kiev regime.”
On the border with the self-proclaimed regions, Ukraine’s authorities amassed half the country’s army, around 125 thousand servicemen with tanks, artillery and other heavy equipment, the Ambassador says, adding that “in my view, it is unfortunately not possible” to speak of a permanent ceasefire.
Moscow expects that the US and European countries will ultimately force Kiev to implement the Minsk Agreements, the Ambassador says. He also notes that Kiev needs to establish a direct dialogue with the representatives of the self-proclaimed regions on how to reach peace.
As for the US initiative to bring the discussion on Ukraine at the Security Council, Osadchiy says that there has been no precedent for bringing up “unfounded fears by any country, invented by the countries themselves, with empty claims.”
In his interview, the Ambassador also refers to NATO’s “negative role”. "From our point of view, this [NATO's presence a short distance from the border] is unacceptable for Russia's security and will lead to retaliatory measures from our side."
He also says that Western countries are selective when emphasizing the right of countries to choose to join alliances, i.e. NATO, for their security while ignoring the fact that their security shouldn’t come at the expense of other countries. “This cannot be accepted,” he says, adding that every state has a right to security, not just NATO members.
Concerning relations with the Republic of Cyprus, in light of the Russia-Ukraine crisis, the Ambassador says that Cyprus is a fully-fledged EU member state, and Moscow understands that in case Brussels puts forward new sanctions, Nicosia will be rather obliged to vote in solidarity with the rest of its European partners.
This, he goes on, will undoubtedly “not add any warmth” in Cyprus-Russia relations. The Ambassador also expressed regret over the fact that Cyprus-Russia bilateral relations may once more be a hostage to foreign geopolitical interests.