Russia Will Attack These Countries If Ukraine Concedes Land: Lawmaker

Service members of pro-Russian troops are seen atop of tanks during Ukraine-Russia conflict on the outskirts of the besieged southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine, on March 20, 2022. (Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters)

Russia will attack other neighboring countries in Europe if Ukraine’s government concedes land to Moscow, a Ukrainian lawmaker claimed on Monday.

The lawmaker, Oleksiy Goncharenko, told CNBC that he believes the Russian government will target the Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia if Ukraine concedes land. The three Baltic states—who share a border with Russia—are members of NATO, and a significant attack on any of those countries would likely trigger NATO’s Article 5 provision, greatly escalating the conflict.

Goncharenko issued the response when he was asked about whether Ukraine would have to give up more regions to Moscow like in 2014 when Russia annexed Crimea and helped establish separatist groups in the Donbas.

“In order to stop the bloodshed, is that the price worth paying?” Goncharenko was asked by the host.

“The problem is that will not stop the bloodshed but [the] quite opposite,” the lawmaker said as he was being interviewed from a rooftop area. Russia “doesn’t understand compromises,” he said, adding that this is a “lesson from history.”

“If something like this will be done, [Russia] will go further” to the “Baltic states,” “to Poland,” and to Georgia,” he said. Moscow is “not going to stop,” Goncharenko continued to say, adding that “it is not the solution.”

Mariupol bomb scene
Cars burned after shelling near a church in the southeastern Ukrainian city of Mariupol, Donetsk region, Ukraine on Feb. 25, 2015. (Genya Savilov/AFP via Getty Images)

Russian President Vladimir Putin, two days before the start of the Feb. 24 invasion, issued a video rationalizing the conflict and cited the Baltic states, Poland, and several former Warsaw Pact countries joining NATO over the years. Putin alleged that NATO’s eastward expansion poses an existential threat to Russia, while also demanding that Ukraine not join the military block.

NATO’s leadership has rejected that its expansion poses a threat to Russia, stressing it is a defensive alliance.

In the meantime, a larger contingent of U.S. and NATO troops have been deployed in the Baltic states, Poland, and Slovakia. U.S.-made Patriot missile systems, fighter jets, and other weapons have also been sent to those countries in recent weeks.

Meanwhile, talks between Russian and Ukrainian negotiations have yielded few results so far, according to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, who accused Ukrainian nationalist groups of attacking Russian forces during the talks.

“You see, a pause in the operation, any pause, is used by the nationalist units to regroup, used to continue attacks against the Russian military,” Peskov said, according to state-run media.

Ukrainian officials on Monday also rejected a Russian demand that their forces in Mariupol lay down their arms and raise white flags Monday in exchange for safe passage out of the besieged port city.

As Russia intensified its effort to pound Mariupol into submission, its ground offensive in other parts of Ukraine has become bogged down. Western officials and analysts say the conflict is turning into a grinding war of attrition, with Russia bombarding cities.

“There can be no talk of any surrender, laying down of arms,” Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Irina Vereshchuk told the news outlet Ukrainian Pravda.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures. (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (John 14:6)

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The Bible – New King James Version, NKJV

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