Russia says EU, NATO forming a new coalition targeting Russia

Russia says EU, NATO forming a new coalition targeting Russia

Russia will follow the steps taken by the European Union, the Russian foreign minister said.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters that the actions taken by the EU and NATO are essentially the formation of a new coalition targeting Russia, and that is a comparison of the actions taken by Brussels to the actions of Nazi dictator Adolf Hilter before attacking the Soviet Union.

Moscow has no illusions about the possibility of Russophobic sentiments within the EU dissipating any time soon, Lavrov said. Russia will closely follow all the real steps taken by the bloc and its candidate states, he added, in a probable reference to Ukraine, which was granted EU candidacy status on Thursday.

The foreign minister said that the EU and NATO are forming a modern coalition for a standoff and ultimately war with the Russian Federation because of the fact that Hitler rallied a large part, if not most, of the European nations under his banner for a war against the Soviet Union. Lavrov's remarks came just one day after he branded a proposal to assemble an international naval coalition to escort ships carrying Ukrainian grain through the Black Sea as an attempt to interfere in the region under the auspices of the UN. Such schemes are not needed to facilitate Ukrainian grain exports, he argued, adding that Moscow guarantees vessels security all the way to the Bosphorus Strait, a key Black Sea access channel controlled by Turkey.

The minister said earlier this month that Washington was trying to use the conflict in Ukraine to deprive Russia of its independence on the international arena and force it to play by rules set by the US. America and its allies will not succeed in such an endeavor, he warned at the time.

Russia attacked the neighboring state in late February, after Ukraine failed to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German and French-brokered protocols were designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.

The Kremlin has demanded that Ukraine declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists that the Russian offensive was unprovoked and has denied that it was planning to take the two republics by force.

The US and its allies responded to the development by slapping Russia with an unprecedented number of sanctions, targeting banking and finance sectors as well as the aviation and space industries. The US and Canada have imposed an embargo on oil and gas imports from Russia. The EU imposed a partial embargo on Russian oil in early June.

Since the beginning of the Russian military operation, the Western nations have been supplying Ukraine with weapons.