Ray McGovern on Medvedev/Putin: Highly Unusual Threats to NATO

An interview with The Critical Hour yesterday provided an opportunity to add some important NATO-related reporting that has been pretty much overlooked in the corporate media. Some of that detail, with my comments, are offered below.

As NATO leaders (aka ‘The 30 Blind Mice) started their summit meeting yesterday in Brussels, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev threw down a seemingly gratuitous gauntlet. Medevdev warned: “Any attempt to encroach on Crimea is a declaration of war on our country.” And that if such an attempt were made by a NATO country, “This is a conflict with the entire North American Alliance. Third World War. Total catastrophe.”

I checked the original Russian; the English translation (verbatim) is accurate. For those who read Russian, here is the original:

Любая попытка посягнуть на Крым – это объявление войны нашей стране, – напомнил политик. – И если это делает страна, входящая в НАТО, это конфликт со всем Североатлантическим альянсом. Третья мировая война. Тотальная катастрофа

“For us, Crimea is a part of Russia. And that means forever. Any attempt to encroach on Crimea is a declaration of war against our country,” Medvedev told a regional news site, as quoted in Reuters.

“And if this is done by a NATO member-state, this means conflict with the entire North Atlantic alliance; a World War Three. A complete catastrophe,” he warned.

In the same comments, and just ahead of this week’s NATO summit in Madrid, Spain kicking off, the former president of Russia addressed Finland and Sweden’s recent applications to join the Western military alliance, saying that Russia would take immediate action to strengthen its Western border and would be “ready for retaliatory steps” if they were admitted.

He floated the possibility of positioning Iskander hypersonic missiles “on their threshold” – speaking of Scandinavian neighbors and the Baltic states. He further suggested a troop buildup, as well as fresh naval assets deployed near Finland in that scenario.

Additionally, he wrote on Telegram in a series of statements: … “If Sweden and Finland join NATO, the length of the alliance’s land border with Russia will more than double. Naturally, it will be necessary to strengthen these borders.”

That’s when he again emphasized that Finnish membership in NATO would only cascade into creating a nuclear standoff in the Baltic region for the first time:

“If this is the case, there can no longer be talk about the Baltic’s non-nuclear status – the balance must be restored,” he stated.

“Until today, Russia has not taken such measures, nor was it going to do so. If we are forced to, then ‘note, it wasn’t us who suggested this,’ as a character in a famous old movie said,” he added.

“The US is broadcasting its ‘Welcome!’ [sign] to the representatives of Northern Europe literally in every way possible. Just humbly knock – and we will let you in. And what does this mean? This means that Russia will have more official adversaries,” he pointed out further, according to TASS.

He said Moscow will act “without emotions, and with a cool head,” and described: “The number of countries in NATO – thirty or thirty-two – on the whole is not really important to us. Two more, two less, with their importance and population there is no big difference.”

Medvedev concluded the statements by appealing to the ‘common sense’ of the Western public and policy makers: “Nobody in their right mind wants higher prices and taxes, mounting tension along the borders, Iskanders, hypersonic weapons or ships with nukes a stone’s throw from their house. Let’s hope that the common sense of our neighbors eventually prevails. Yet if not, then, as they say, “they started it,” he said.

We may in due course learn if any specific act by NATO members brought that unusual warning from Medvedev. The NATO summit continues today and Thursday.

Meanwhile, no doubt as advance warning to the 30 Blind Mice now in Madrid, Putin said Saturday Russia planned to send nuclear-capable missiles to Belarus within months, signaling a boldness as it made gains in Ukraine’s eastern regions.

Putin made the promise in a meeting with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, who has publicly supported Russia in its invasion of Ukraine. “We will transfer to Belarus Iskander-M tactical missile systems, which can use ballistic or cruise missiles, in their conventional and nuclear versions,” he said, according to Russia’s state-owned Tass news agency. “It’s a deal.”

Watch the choreographed tête-à-tête between Putin and Lukashenko – and shudder:

I have not had time to scour the corporate media; has anyone seen any Western reporting on this?

This originally appeared at RayMcGovern.com.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. His 27-year career as a CIA analyst includes serving as Chief of the Soviet Foreign Policy Branch and preparer/briefer of the President’s Daily Brief. He is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

15 thoughts on “Ray McGovern on Medvedev/Putin: Highly Unusual Threats to NATO”

  1. Do those Western leaders really think they can prevail in this conflict? What are they basing that on?

      1. The Neocons got this “Full Spectrum Dominance” idea. “Rebuilding America’s Defenses” and the lust to project American power. So they instigated a war on Iraq and Afghanistan to put the Vietnam’s war aversion in the rear view. They thought these things would make us strong. But squandering billions and chasing nomads around desert wastelands, worldwide torture and illegal renditions only wasted time and money making us fall behind and weaker, What did our Great Game Adversaries do? They upped their Great Gamesmanship!!! Faster, lighter, more nimble fighter planes, built the world premiere air defense systems. Robot nuclear torpedos with a 100 megaton warheads, and they perfected hypersonic missiles which they have successfully used in Ukraine.. Some weapons experts say the West has fallen a decade behind in cutting edge military technology. The Great Global War on Terror has made us weak. But you would never know, because we talk so tough. The only full spectrum dominance we have today is hubris and bluster. Hubris precedes a great fall. Are you ready…????

        1. Following the disappearance of the bipolar world as a result of the collapse of the Soviet Union, the US Neocons wanted to use the US’s “monopolar moment” (as J. Mearsheimer puts it) to establish US global hegemony. They thought they had a window of opportunity of about 10 to 20 years to establish US control over the entire world before the next challenger to their hegemony would appear.

          Unsurprisingly, it went badly wrong. These people lack wisdom and emotional intelligence. They have embarked on a path that leads straight to hell and they are determined to take us along. The Nazis always want to destroy everything and kill everybody if they can’t have what they want.

  2. The West is going to like it even less when Russia takes all of Ukraine and places strategic weapons in it opposite the Aegis Ashore installations in Poland and Romania. That’s what the Ukraine war is all about. That and Belarus are some of the “military-technical measures” Russia warned the West it would do it the West ignored its treaty proposals of last year.

    1. That still hasn’t happened. When is Russia gonna declare all out war on Ukraine ? All of Ukraine?

      1. They’re likely not going to “declare war”. They can take Ukraine with what they’ve committed so far. There’s no need to mobilize. If they need more troops, they have plenty available without calling up reserves (of which they have two million.) Russia will simply grind down the rest of the Ukrainian army as they are doing in Donbass. They don’t need to “occupy” Ukraine or control anything in Ukraine other than the seats of government in the oblasts to achieve their goals, and for that you don’t need that many troops.

  3. Jun 30, 2022 Vladimir Putin Addresses the 10th St Petersburg International Legal Forum – English Subtitles

    Vladimir Putin gives a video address to greet the participants of a plenary session of the 10th St Petersburg International Legal Forum. This year’s plenary session focused on “Law in a Multipolar World”, which is part of Russia’s larger foreign policy platform in addressing the new global power alignments away from the American-led Trans-Atlantic partnerships and towards emerging powers of the Developing World.


    1. Putin made a great speech. The US thinks the world revolves around it and that foreign affairs should always be in American interests even if they are not in the interests of other nations. It’s good Russia and China are cooperating with each other to counter American Hegemony in the world.

  4. Russia can, through threats & promises prevent Finland from Joining NATO. Finlands close proximity to Russia makes it a threat but that closeness makes Finland helpless to stop a Russian missile attack in the short tern before any NATO missiles are installed. Should Russia tell Finland, prior to any first strike missiles being installed there, that any hint of NATO nukes in Finland will be met with an immediate thermonuclear strike on Helsinki, I believe an agreement will be quickly consummated..!!!!!!! What can the U.S. offer to trump that threat/offer…????
    What could the U.S. do but threaten to retaliate, But Finland as a nonmember is not entitled to “Chapter 5 ” retaliatory Satus and would be a smoldering disaster before any possible retaliation And would any or all the alliance agree to starting a nuclear war with Russia who would likely take out their capitol too, once the nukes flew… Not only would this keep Finland out, it would end NATO solidarity and probably NATO too… Any thoughts on this welcomed..!!

    1. I wish to backtrack my overly aggressive suggestion of Putin telling Finland that if any first strike type weapons were discovered to be deployed in Finland, there would be a thermonuclear strike on their capital. But with further research, I see Putin’s response was the better one. And my suggested way is bad on its face. Rhetoric has a way of over-reacting to perceived threats. My bad..!!!!!

  5. the earth is the titanic and we are utter fools quibbling over cards,games,drinks while we sink and devolve at competing rates…Next!

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