LONDON, February 15. /TASS/. Russia does not intend to attack Ukraine and has reasons to be concerned about NATO’s expansion, First Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on International Affairs Vyacheslav Nikonov, said in an interview with BBC radio on Monday, noting that Russia, which has been repeatedly invaded from the West, is not starting wars.
"There were lots of British troops on our soil. And, of course, then there was World War II, there was Napoleon, and for us, you know, this NATO approaching our borders seems very much the same. Like Hitler - that’s how it looks to us. So, for us, that’s the same sort of challenge," Nikonov said. "We do not want World War II to repeat. Russians do not start wars, Russians finish wars," he emphasized.
When asked about the likelihood of an allegedly planned Russian invasion of Ukrainian territory, Nikonov advised that information emanating from Western sources about the concentration of Russian troops near Ukraine's borders should be critically scrutinized and put the spotlight on the close historical, cultural, and social ties between the two countries.
Nikonov emphasized that Moscow is still waiting for a constructive response to its proposals on security guarantees, but "will not wait forever" and is ready to give "some technical response, which will put the West in this same position of danger". The legislator stressed that the West is clearly not ready to "introduce Ukraine to NATO in the next century" and suggested that it should start to openly acknowledge this fact.
The West and Kiev have recently been echoing allegations about Russia’s potential invasion of Ukraine. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov castigated these claims as "empty and unfounded", serving as a ploy to escalate tensions, pointing out that Russia did not pose any threat whatsoever to anyone. However, Peskov did not rule out the possibility of provocations aimed at justifying such claims and warned that attempts to use military force to resolve the crisis in southeastern Ukraine would have serious consequences.