RUSSIA warned the US against “forcing us to take countermeasures” ahead of a meeting between Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin.
Russia’s deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov reportedly warned that the US would be getting “uncomfortable” signals in the coming days.
“The Americans must assume that a number of signals from Moscow … will be uncomfortable for them, including in the coming days,” Ryabkov was quoted saying by Russian RIA news agency.
The comments come after President Biden said on Sunday that he would hold Russia accountable for humans rights violations.
“I’ll be meeting with President Putin in a couple weeks in Geneva making it clear that we will not, we will not, stand by and let him abuse those rights,” Biden said during a Memorial Day service in Delaware.
Ryabkov claimed that Russia was prepared to respond to Biden’s remarks and alleged that Russia is being more flexible when it came to setting the agenda for the meeting between Biden and Putin than the US is.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu also spoke Monday about tensions with the US, according to Reuters.
The official alleged that the US and NATO transatlantic alliance recently increased military activity to the West of Russia and Moscow had to respond.
“The actions of our Western colleagues are destroying the world’s security system and force us to take adequate countermeasures,” he said, according to the Interfax news agency.
“Around 20 military formations and units will be formed in the Western Military District by the end of the year.”
In announcing the June 16 meeting between Biden and Putin, the White House said the two leaders would discuss several topics with the goal of restoring “predictability and stability” in the relationship between the two nations.
It comes amid strained relations caused in part by suspicions of US election meddling from Moscow and recent cyberattacks from Russian groups.
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Russia has also been slammed for its support of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, especially after he had journalist Roman Protasevich plucked from an airplane and placed under arrest last week.
The capture has led to widespread calls for the young journalist’s release and threats of sanctions.
While EU nations have slammed the Belarusian government, Russia has remained mum.
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