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Putin: Russia does not seek direct confrontation with NATO, but is ready for US provocations

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that while Russia does not seek direct confrontation with the U.S.-led NATO military alliance, it is prepared for “any situation” in response to U.S. provocations in Syria.

“We are always ready to respond to any situation, but no one wants this to happen. At the initiative of the United States we established a special mechanism to prevent these conflicts,” Putin told reporters in St. Petersburg on Saturday.

He added that there is direct communication between the United States and Russia and an opportunity to consult on any potential crisis.

“This shows that no one wants conflict,” the Russian leader reiterated.

Since the beginning of 2023, the Russian military has reported 23 dangerous incidents involving Russian aircraft and those of the U.S.-led coalition.

Admiral Oleg Gurinov, head of the Russian Army’s Reconciliation Center, said Thursday that most of the incidents took place in July.

Gurinov also added that Russian pilots recorded 11 instances in which they were targeted by a Western aircraft’s targeting system, causing the aircraft to automatically activate its defenses.

The Russian Ministry of Defense also stated that since the beginning of the year, U.S. drones have violated flight safety regulations in Syria 340 times.

The United States has deployed troops and military equipment in Syria under the pretext of fighting the “Islamic State” organization, but it has not been authorized by the Damascus government or the United Nations.

The U.S. military claims its presence in Syria is aimed at preventing oil fields in the region from falling into the hands of the Islamic State group. However, Damascus believes that this illegal deployment is to plunder the natural resources of the Arab country.

Moscow has repeatedly warned Washington and its allies of the potential risk of direct conflict between Russia and NATO amid the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Russia says continued Western arms supplies to Kiev will prolong hostilities and draw Western-backed countries deeper into the conflict.

At the same time, Putin also told reporters that using neo-Nazism and recruiting terrorist groups to confront Russia would be counterproductive and would backfire on countries that adopt such confrontational methods.

“It is in the interests of our potential adversaries that Ukraine is now being used as a tool against Russia. They are willing to use any means, having used Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups against us in the struggle in the Caucasus,” he said.

Putin said that some countries see the situation differently, for example, Al Qaeda is “bad” in Europe, but these same terrorists become “good” when confronting Russia.

He argued that it was a similar situation to Nazism, saying: “Nazis in general are wrong, but if neo-Nazis can be used in the fight against Russia, that’s right for them.”

“Both are wrong: those who try to use neo-Nazism against us will end up eating them back, just as terrorism came back to them; and those who try to base their identity on Nazi ideology will end up leading them to a dead end.”

Source : new.qq.com