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).