Pentagon chief’s ‘NATO will fight Russia’ remark reveals US plan – Moscow

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The US clearly has plans for NATO to become directly involved in a conflict with Russia, as evidenced by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s testimony to Congress, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov claimed on Friday.

During a House Armed Services Committee hearing on Thursday, Austin said that “if Ukraine falls, I genuinely believe NATO will be fighting Russia.”

Lavrov was asked about Austin’s remarks during an interview at the Antalya Diplomacy Forum in Türkiye.

“He simply made a Freudian slip to reveal what they [the US] had in mind,” the Russian diplomat said. “They used to say they can’t allow Ukraine to lose, because Russia won’t be satisfied and would attack the Baltic states, Poland, [and] Finland next. It turns out, according to Mr. Austin’s frank words, that everything is exactly the opposite. We do not and cannot have such plans, but the Americans do.”

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has already commented on Austin’s remarks, wondering if they were a direct threat to Russia or an attempt to generate excuses for Ukraine.

“Either way, it’s madness,” she said. “But now everyone sees that Washington is the aggressor.”

According to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, Austin’s testimony proved that “NATO regards Ukraine as its own territory,” which proves that Russia’s military operation is “absolutely justified and correct.”

Austin’s testimony was part of a push by the White House to get congressional approval for a $95 billion foreign aid bill, which includes more than $60 billion in funding for Kiev. The US and its allies have already sent Ukraine over $200 billion in military, economic, and financial aid for the conflict against Russia – disregarding Moscow’s warnings and objections, while insisting they are not directly involved.

The idea that Moscow will not stop with Kiev and move to attack the Baltic states or Poland next is the latest talking point of the US administration. Previously it has tried to sell the indefinite funding of Kiev by claiming Ukraine is defeating Russia on a fraction of the US military budget, and that most of the money would end up going to the American military industry anyway. -RT