The geographical targets of the Russian “special military operation” in Ukraine have changed and now include not only the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, but also other territories, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said today.
“When the negotiations (between Russia and Ukraine) were held in Istanbul, we had a geography and our willingness to accept the Ukrainian proposal was based on that geography, the one from the end of March 2022. But now the geography is different,” he stated in an interview with the Russian agency RIA Novosti.
Lavrov indicated that “we are no longer concerned only with the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics, but with the Jershon region, Zaporiyia and a series of other territories, and that process continues, in addition, in a consistent and persistent fashion.”
The Russian foreign minister warned that as the West, due to “rage caused by impotence” or the desire to aggravate the situation, injects more and more longer-range weapons, such as HIMARS missiles, the geographical frameworks of the operation especially advance more and more.
“We cannot allow that in the part of Ukraine that remains under the control of (Ukrainian President Volodymyr) Zelensky, (…) there are weapons that represent a direct threat to our territories or the territories of the republics that declared their independence, of those who want to define their independent future,” he added.
Lavrov recalled that the objectives set by Russian President Vladimir Putin when ordering the military campaign in Ukraine were “denazification and demilitarization in the sense that there are no threats to our security.” According to the head of Russian diplomacy, “this task continues”.
This same Wednesday, the spokeswoman for Russian diplomacy, Maria Zajárova, commented on the warnings of the communications coordinator of the National Security Council, John Kirby, who threatened Russia with additional and more severe sanctions if it insisted on illegally annexing Ukrainian territory.
“The White House declared that the US will impose new sanctions in the event that new Ukrainian regions join Russia. The White House’s mistake is that the US has imposed and imposes new sanctions without the Ukrainian regions joining Russia,” he stated. on his Telegram channel.
For that reason, the representative of Russian diplomacy pointed out, “this new threat did not achieve its objectives.” “On the contrary, it strengthened our decision to act along the chosen line,” she said.
Russia, which launched a military campaign in neighboring Ukraine last February, has openly stated that it will promote integration referendums in the Zaporiyia and Jershon regions partially occupied by Russian troops.
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