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NATO’s refusal to recognise Crimea as Russian is a threat: Former Russian President

Former president Dmitry Medvedev declared on Sunday that the reluctance of Ukraine and Western nations to acknowledge Moscow’s sovereignty of Crimea represents a systemic danger to Russia and any external attack on the area will result in a Judgment Day reaction.

In 2014, a pro-Moscow president in Kyiv was overthrown amid widespread public protests, leading to Russia’s annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea on the Black Sea. Later, Moscow supported armed pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine’s Donbas area.

In the event of an attack on Crimea, Medvedev said, ‘Judgment Day will come very fast and hard. It will be very difficult to hide’.

He had previously cautioned the United States against seeking to punish a nuclear power like Russia for its activities in Ukraine, claiming that doing so may threaten mankind. His remarks were broadcast a day after a Ukrainian official warned that Crimea, which the majority of the international community still recognises as being a part of Ukraine, would be a target for HIMARS missiles produced in the United States that Kyiv has deployed as it faces Russian forces.

Earlier on Sunday, Interfax news agency quoted Medvedev as telling World War Two veterans: ‘If any other state, be it Ukraine or NATO countries, believes that Crimea is not Russian, then this is a systemic threat for us’.

‘This is a direct and an explicit threat, especially given what had happened to Crimea. Crimea returned to Russia’, said Medvedev, who now serves as deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council.

In a televised interview on Saturday, Vadym Skibitskyi, a representative of the Ukrainian military intelligence, was asked if HIMARS might be deployed against targets in Crimea. He said that Crimea and the Black Sea were legitimate targets since Russia had attacked Ukrainian territory from these areas. Since Sevastopol serves as the base for Russia’s Black Sea navy, Crimea is of great strategic importance to that country.


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