Troops a warning, not a threat: Russia | Canberra Times

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Russia describes its troops assembled at Ukraine’s border as “not a threat” but a warning against “ruthless military adventures” backed by the West. Russia’s ambassador to Australia, Alexey Pavlovsky, has used a rare media conference in Canberra to warn Australian support for Ukraine risks leading to war. “When Western countries now, including Australia, express their support, either verbally or materially, or by sending weapons to Ukraine, they encourage Kyiv to continue their line of sabotage,” he told reporters on Friday. “We believe that such statements of support are very dangerous because they lead to provocations, they lead to war.” Dr. Pavlovsky also claimed that Russia was not aggressive in gathering troops on the border with Ukraine. “Our troops are not a threat. They are a warning to Ukraine not to try any ruthless military adventure, not to interpret the support they have from the West as carte blanche to do such crazy things,” he said. The ambassador attacked Defense Minister Peter Dutton’s earlier description of Russian President Vladimir Putin as an increasingly irrational and aging dictator. “If this is the level of analysis that informs Australian politics, then it is certainly a worrying sign,” said Drs. Pavlovsky. “Australians are clearly entitled to a more meaningful understanding of the situation than cartoon-style propaganda like Batman versus Joker.” Australia earlier this week evacuated some diplomatic staff and their families from Ukraine and upgraded its advice not to “travel”. Dr. Pavlovsky accused the Morrison government of “breathing hysteria” from thousands of miles away. Federal authorities previously suggested that Australia could help supply gas to Europe if Russia decides to cut supplies. Dr. Pavlovsky wished Australia “good luck” in entering the European gas market. The last time a Russian ambassador to Australia held a press conference was in 2018. Australian Associated Press

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