Sergei Ryabkov, Russia's Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, has said he does not rule out an armed conflict between Russia and NATO, saying there is no way to restore relations.
Source: Ryabkov in an interview with Kremlin-aligned newspaper Izvestia (The News)
Quote from Ryabkov in response to a question of whether we can expect an armed conflict in the future: "It depends on the North Atlantic Alliance. NATO has a choice. As we already demonstrated, we are ready to protect our national interests by all means."
Details: In the traditional arrogant manner of Russian officials, he added that it was allegedly impossible to "encroach endlessly" on Russia's interests and that "the people who continue to test our strength, they must have believed that there was no limit to their own rate-raising game, but they may find themselves among the total losers in this arena".
Quote: "I don't think relations between Russia and NATO will be restored in the foreseeable future. It is impossible for reasons of both principle and practical nature. If someone in the West thinks that we need these relations and will come one day and ask for their restoration, then this is the biggest mistake."
Details: The Russian official added that Russia was ready to negotiate "only on an equal and mutually respectful basis".
"I can't even imagine the situation and the context in which this is possible after what is happening," Ryabkov concluded.