Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov has said that he does not rule out an armed conflict between Russia and NATO, saying that it will not be possible to improve relations. This was stated in an interview with Ryabkov to the Russian publication Izvestia.
Ryabkov answered the question whether we can expect an armed conflict in the future: "It depends on the North Atlantic Alliance. The choice is entirely on the side of NATO. We are ready, as we have already demonstrated, to defend our national interests with all the means at our disposal."
In the usual arrogant manner of Russian officials, he added that Russia's interests cannot be "infinitely encroached upon" and that "people who continue to test us, they must have believed that there are no limits to their own rate-raising game, but they may be among the losers on this platform."
"I don't think that relations between Russia and NATO will be restored in one form or another in the foreseeable future. This is ruled out for reasons of both principle and practice. If someone in the West thinks that we need these relations, that we will come at some point and ask for their restoration, then this is the biggest mistake," Ryabkov said.
The Russian official added that Russia had previously been ready to negotiate "only on an equal and mutually respectful basis."
"And now, against the background of what is happening, I cannot imagine a situation and context in which this is possible," Ryabkov concluded.