Russian lawmaker suggests kidnapping NATO defence minister in Ukraine

Lawmaker says his plot is not a ‘mythical picture as there are new rules in the world now’


Reuters May 31, 2022
Russian servicemen participate in joint military drills involving Russia, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, at the Harb-Maidon training ground, located near the Tajik-Afghan border in the Khatlon Region of Tajikistan August 10, 2021. PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON:

A senior Russian lawmaker has suggested kidnapping a NATO defence minister in Ukraine and bringing him to Moscow for questioning about what "orders" the West has been giving to Kyiv.

Oleg Morozov, first elected to the Russian parliament in 1993 and a member of the dominant United Russia party, said the supply of Western arms to Ukraine posed a direct threat to Russia and might require Moscow to review its military aims.

"You know, perhaps it is a fantastical plot that I have brewing ... that in the near future, at some stage, a war minister of some NATO country will go by train to Kyiv to talk with (Ukrainian President Volodymyr) Zelenskiy," Morozov told the "60 Minutes" talk show on Rossiya-1 state TV late on Monday.

"But he would not get there. And would wake up somewhere in Moscow," Morozov said.

"You mean we abduct them?" TV host Olga Skabeyeva, one of the most pro-Kremlin journalists on television, asked with a smile.

"Yes. And then we would sort out who gave which order for what, who is responsible for what exactly," Morozov said. "It is not such a mythical picture ... There are new rules in the world now. Let all those war ministers gathering in Kyiv think a little about what it would be like to wake up in Moscow."

Also read: Imran defends Kremlin visit on same day Russia invaded Ukraine

Neither Morozov nor Skabeyeva could be reached for comment.

A succession of Western politicians have visited Kyiv to show solidarity with Ukraine - including US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin, who travelled there in April with Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

President Vladimir Putin casts the 97-day-old war as a "special military operation" to disarm Ukraine and halt what he sees as the persecution of Russian-speakers by Ukrainian ultra-nationalists. He also accuses the United States of using Ukraine to threaten Russia through NATO enlargement.

Ukraine and its Western backers say Russia is waging an unprovoked war against a sovereign state which is fighting for its existence.

Russia has repeatedly warned the West that the supply of advanced arms to Ukraine risks escalating the war. Ukraine has called for the West to send more long-range weapons.

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