BREAKING: Russia Warns NATO, U.S. to Back Off or Risk ‘Catastrophic Consequences’

(breitbart) – The United States and NATO were warned by Russia on Thursday they face “catastrophic consequences” if they pursue further involvement in the Ukraine war.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva “the most acute strategic threat is posed now by the U.S. and NATO policy aimed at further fomenting the conflict in and around Ukraine.”

“Their growing involvement in an armed confrontation is fraught with a direct military clash of nuclear powers with catastrophic consequences.”

AFP reports Russia’s diplomatic representative spoke before a largely empty chamber, with many Western diplomats gathering instead for a nearby photo opportunity in front of a mural painted in the blue and yellow of the Ukrainian flag during his scheduled speaking time.

“We consider this as an extraordinary show of solidarity with the Ukrainian people who resist an unprovoked and unjustified Russia’s aggression,” Ukraine’s ambassador Yevheniia Filipenko told the outlet.

“Until Russia takes its tanks out of the field of Ukraine… we are here to show support to our Ukrainian colleague,” British ambassador Simon Manley reportedly said.

“Their fight is our fight.”

Russia’s warning of consequences comes just days after NATO agreed to Ukraine’s request for membership sooner rather than later, as Breitbart News reported.

“NATO allies have agreed that Ukraine will become a member of our alliance, but at the same time that is a long-term perspective,” Stoltenberg told reporters during a visit to Finland’s capital Helsinki.

Stoltenberg’s statement reaffirmed the belief already held in Kiev that membership is only a step away.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken delivered a video address Thursday morning stressing the need to extend a high-level war crimes investigation over Moscow’s actions against its neighbor, a so-called Commission of Inquiry, into Russia’s actions in Ukraine.

“As long as Russia continues to wage its war, the COI should continue to document such abuses, providing an impartial record of what’s occurring, and a foundation for national and international efforts to hold perpetrators accountable,” he said.

“Governments that commit atrocities abroad are also likely to violate the rights of people at home, and that’s exactly what Russia is doing.”