Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev warned on Friday that any attempt by Ukraine to retake the Crimean peninsula would trigger a Russian response resorting to any means.
UK Plan to Send Depleted Uranium Shells to Ukraine Raises Fears
"An attempt to split off a part of the state would be tantamount to usurpation of the existence of the state itself," Medvedev told Russian media.
In this regard, the Russian diplomat said that an attempt to retake Crimea "will serve as a basis for the use of all means of protection, including those provided by the basic doctrine of nuclear deterrence, when the use of any kind of weapons against Russia poses a threat to the existence of the state as such."
However, Medvedev said that Ukraine's claims about retaking the peninsula are "propaganda." "This is propaganda and should be treated as such. It is always seen in times of war," the deputy chairman said.
The former Russian president also brought up NATO's constant pumping of weaponry into Ukraine, which toughens the ongoing conflict. Likewise, Medvedev warned about the North Atlantic alliance's injections of money into Kiev increasing the risk of a nuclear confrontation.
In the face of growing hostility from the West, the diplomat recalled Russia's interest in a peaceful resolution of the conflict in Ukraine.
In 2014, Crimea became part of Russia following an overwhelming vote by the local population in favor of joining after a Western-backed coup in Kiev.