Russia says sending international peacekeepers to Ukraine would be ‘clash between Russia and NATO’

Russia on Wednesday condemned what it called a „reckless” Polish proposal to send international peacekeepers into Ukraine.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned that it could lead to a direct clash between Russian and NATO forces.

„This will be the direct clash between the Russian and NATO armed forces that everyone has not only tried to avoid but said should not take place in principle,” he said in remarks at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations.

Poland said on Friday it would formally submit a proposal for a peacekeeping mission in Ukraine at the next NATO summit.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov called it “a very reckless and extremely dangerous decision,” Reuters reported.

He told reporters on a conference call on Wednesday that any possible contact between Russian and NATO forces „could have clear consequences that would be hard to repair”.

Russia sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24 to neutralize its neighbor’s military capabilities and root out people it called „Neo-Nazis.”

Ukrainian military forces have put up stiff resistance. The west has imposed sweeping sanctions on Russia in an effort to force it to withdraw its forces.

The leader of Poland’s ruling party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski last week said during a visit to Kyiv he thought there should be „a peace mission – NATO, possibly some wider international structure – but a mission that will be able to defend itself, which will operate on Ukrainian territory.”

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