On Wednesday, ahead of President Joe Biden’s European trip to meet with North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies to discuss possible new sanctions and other efforts to hamper the Russia military in Ukraine, the Russian government warned that if NATO were to send soldiers from any of its member to countries to serve as peacekeepers in the war torn country, then it would be “an extremely dangerous decision” and lead to “direct clash” between Russia and NATO.
The comments were in direct response to a Polish proposal calling for NATO or another international group to send in soldiers to serve in a peacekeeping capacity.
Reuters reported that last week in Kyiv, Ukraine, Poland’s ruling party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski said:
I think that it is necessary to have a peace mission – NATO, possibly some wider international structure – but a mission that will be able to defend itself, which will operate on Ukrainian territory.
In response, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told staff and students at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations on Wednesday that such an idea would lead to “the direct clash between the Russian and NATO armed forces that everyone has not only tried to avoid but said should not take place in principle.”
Reuters also reported that Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov blasted the proposal, saying, “It would be a very reckless and extremely dangerous decision.”
“He told reporters on a conference call that any possible contact between Russian and NATO forces ‘could have clear consequences that would be hard to repair,'” Reuters added.
The Wall Street Journal also reported that a wave of new sanctions and tactics to pressure China could come out of the NATO meetings this week:
The Biden administration is preparing new sanctions on most members of Russia’s State Duma, the lower house of parliament, according to U.S. officials. President Biden will use his meetings in Brussels this week to keep up pressure on China to not provide aid to Russia, national security adviser Jake Sullivan said. At the meetings, the U.S. and allies are also expected to announce further sanctions against Russia.
Despite the continued heavy attacks by Russia, the Journal also added that the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres indicated that diplomatic efforts were starting to gain traction.
“There is enough on the table to cease hostilities—now…and seriously negotiate—now,” Guterres said. He also added, “Sooner or later, it will have to move from the battlefield to the peace table.”
In terms of other de-escalation efforts, on Tuesday The Daily Wire reported that Russia stated that the country would use nuclear weapons if the country’s existence was threatened.
“We have a concept of domestic security, and it’s public. You can read all the reasons for nuclear arms to be used,” Peskov said. “So if it is an existential threat for our country, then it can be used in accordance with our concept.”
Thursday, March 24 will mark one month since Russia invaded Ukraine.