- Russia said it would not wait indefinitely for a response from Western countries.
- NATO will neither expand nor deploy forces in Ukraine and other ex-Soviet countries: Russia
- Western countries are driven by pride and have raised tensions against their obligations and common sense: Lavrov
Moscow: Russia on Friday reiterated its demand that NATO would not expand east, although it was rejected by the military alliance amid a Russian military build-up near Ukraine. Russia said it would not wait indefinitely for a response from the West. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday referred to Moscow’s demand that NATO will neither expand nor deploy forces in Ukraine and other ex-Soviet countries as it seeks to de-escalate escalating tensions over Ukraine. necessary for the progress of diplomatic efforts.
‘Our patience has run out’
Lavrov argued that the deployment of NATO forces and weapons near Russia’s borders is a security challenge that must be addressed immediately. Lavrov said, ‘We have run out of patience. Western countries are driven by pride and have raised tensions against their obligations and common sense. Lavrov said Russia expects Washington and NATO to respond in writing to its demands next week. Amid tensions, Ukraine on Friday faced a massive cyberattack that affected the websites of several government agencies.
Russia denies plan of attack
This week’s talks in Geneva and a related NATO-Russia meeting in Brussels were held amid a Russian military gathering near Ukraine. Western countries fear this gathering could be the start of an invasion. Russia, however, denied plans to attack its neighbour. It has warned Western countries that NATO’s expansion into Ukraine and other former Soviet countries is a “red line” that should not be crossed.
Tension escalates between Ukraine and Russia
Let us tell you that many government websites have been closed since Friday’s cyber attack on Ukraine. The attacks come at a time when tensions between Ukraine and Russia have escalated after talks between Moscow and other Western nations showed no significant progress this week. Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Oleg Nikolenko wrote in a Facebook post on Friday: “Due to the major hacking attack, the websites of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and many other government agencies are temporarily closed. Our experts are working to restore the functioning of the IT system.
‘Russia’s long history of cyber attacks’
Nikolenko said it was too early to say who was behind the attack. “It is too early to come to any conclusion as the cases are under investigation but Russia’s cyber attacks against Ukraine have a long history,” he said. Russia has in the past denied cyber attacks against Ukraine. According to officials, the websites of the country’s cabinet, seven ministries, treasury, national disaster service and state service related to passports and vaccination certificates are not available due to hacking.
Personal data of Ukrainians leaked?
According to reports, hackers wrote messages in Ukrainian, Russian and Polish on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that personal data of Ukrainians had been leaked to a public forum. The message read, ‘Worry and expect worse. This is for your past, present and future.’ Ukraine’s Government Service for Communications and Information Protection, however, has claimed that no personal data has been leaked. Significantly, the US estimates that one lakh Russian soldiers are deposited on the Ukrainian border and they are feared to attack Ukraine. Russia has denied any such plans.