Reznikov urged US President Joe Biden – who was scheduled to speak with Russia’s Vladimir Putin on a video conference on Tuesday – to stand firm against Moscow.
“If I can advise President Biden, I would like him to explain to Mr. Putin that no red line on the Kremlin side should be here. The red line is here in Ukraine and the civilized world will react without hesitation,” Reznikov told CNN. in an exclusive interview Monday.
“The idea of not provoking Russia will not work,” he added.
“So we have 250,000 officials … members of our army. Plus, I said 400,000 veterans and 200,000 reservists. 175,000 (that’s not) enough to go to Ukraine,” Reznikov said. .
Reznikov stressed that a Russian invasion – if it did occur – would have “catastrophic” consequences for the entire European continent, with around 4 to 5 million Ukrainians possibly needing to seek refuge in Europe. Reznikov also stressed that Ukraine is a major supplier of food to Europe and Africa, supplies which he said would be disrupted.
The minister said the Ukrainian military has sent a request for further assistance with military equipment to its allies, including material support and training for its air force and navy. “We don’t need troops, because I think it’s not so fair that American soldiers die in Ukraine. No, we don’t need them,” Reznikov added.
Ukraine has warned for weeks that Russia is trying to destabilize the country ahead of any planned military invasion, with NATO stressing that Russian movements near the border are unusual. Western powers have repeatedly urged Russia to avoid further aggressive measures against Ukraine.
Kremlin denies intention to attack, argues NATO support for Ukraine – including increased arms supplies and military training – poses a growing threat on Russia’s western flank .
Regarding the Kremlin’s motives, Reznikov told CNN he believed Russia’s saber-strike was aimed at sowing fear and unrest in Ukraine and preventing Ukraine from moving closer to NATO and the United States. EU.
The Kremlin demands a legal commitment that NATO will not be extended east to include Ukraine and that NATO’s military infrastructure, like missile systems, will not be built in the country.
“If we share or spread panic in our country and inside our society, it will be the gift to the Kremlin, because they are trying to do so. Because this gathering of their troops along our border is a main objective for them to carry out a process of destabilization inside our country, to stop us on our way. But we are entering into the NATO ally, we are going to the EU, ”he said. he declares.