Zelensky 'preemptive' strikes call justifies special operation: Moscow
According to Zakharova, the US is sending mixed signals to Russia showing militancy at one time, and then hinting at a dialogue at another.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's recent statement about "preemptive" strikes against Russia demonstrates that Moscow correctly assessed the risks associated with Ukraine and proves that Russia's special military operation was necessary, according to Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova.
Zakharova pointed out that Ukrainian Presidential Spokesperson Serhiy Nikiforov had responded to Zelensky's remarks, claiming that the Ukrainian leader was not referring to nuclear strikes on Russia, but rather to the scenario prior to February 24.
"That is, in their desire to protect, shield or at least somehow whitewash Zelenskyy and manage this whole situation, because it has caused quite a stir around the world, they are exacerbating it — they confirm the points that Moscow made in February, and March, explaining the entire situation by the intention of the Kiev regime to strike or become a base for a strike [on Russian territory]," the spokeswoman told a Russian broadcaster.
Read next: Reaction to Crimea blast exhibits Kiev's "terrorist nature": Zakharova
Zelensky suggested earlier this week, via video link at Australia's Lowy Institute that NATO should execute "preemptive" strikes on Russia rather than "wait for Russia's nuclear strikes." In response to the remark, Kremlin Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told Sputnik that it amounts to an incitement to ignite a world war.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated on Friday that Kiev is increasing the risks linked with the use of weapons of mass destruction and that Moscow is warning the US against imprudent backing for Ukraine.
Zelensky appeared to backtrack on his inflammatory statement on Saturday, claiming that it had been misconstrued and that he meant sanctions rather than attacks.
US sends mixed signals to Russia showing militancy, hinting at dialogue: Moscow
The US is giving ambiguous signals to Russia about the ongoing military action in Ukraine, combining inflammatory militancy with suggestions of a possible conversation, according to Zakharova on Saturday.
"In recent days, public statements coming from the US Administration concerning the developments in Ukraine have combined provocative militancy with vague allusions to the possibility of an adequate US-Russian dialogue," Zakharova said in a statement.
Read next: Zelensky's advisor: Crimea Bridge "must be destroyed"
Zakharova singled out US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, citing one of his recent statements against Russia that seemed to contradict his previous claims.
"He said that the US would be ready to respond if Moscow showed 'any seriousness of purpose.' Meanwhile, a couple of weeks ago he flatly denied the very possibility of finding a diplomatic solution," the Spokesperson noted.
Read more: Kremlin slams Zelensky call for preemptive nuclear strike on Russia