Russia slams US statement on intimidation of neighboursFebruary 16th, 2008 - 4:06 pm ICT by admin
Moscow, Feb 16 (RIA Novosti) Russia has strongly criticised US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for her recent comments that Moscow was “intimidating” its post-Soviet neighbours. “The words about intimidation from Russia are, at the very least, inappropriate,” Mikhail Kamynin, a foreign ministry spokesperson, said Friday.
Responding to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent statement that Russia could retarget its missiles against Ukraine if the former Soviet republic joined NATO, Rice said Wednesday that the “reprehensible rhetoric that is coming out of Moscow is unacceptable, and it’s not helpful to a relationship that actually has some positive aspects.”
Rice also said that the US was “devoted to the independence and sovereignty of Ukraine and of other states that were once a part of the Soviet Union”.
Commenting on Ukraine’s bid for NATO membership, Putin said during a meeting with Ukrainian counterpart Viktor Yushchenko in Moscow earlier this week that it was the country’s internal affair, but called on Kiev to think about the consequences of the move.
“It is terrifying even to think that in response (to Ukraine allowing anti-missile defences to be deployed on its territory) Russia could target its nuclear missile systems against Ukraine. This is what worries us,” Putin said.
Following Putin’s comments, Ukraine said it was prepared to pass legislation barring the deployment of NATO military bases on its soil should it join the military alliance.