Russia warns Japan to stay out of Ukraine crisis

Posted 113 days ago


The Russian foreign minister's team warned Japan to stay out of the brewing Ukraine crisis after U. S. officials touted a “close alignment” with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in the lead-up to a potential eruption of violence in Eastern Europe.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's office expressed "puzzlement" at the "inadmissibility and senselessness" of Japan's warning that it was poised to take "strong actions" in light of the Eastern European power's recent actions in Ukraine.

"We reviewed with puzzlement the reports that at the Japan-US summit yesterday, the Japanese side attempted to threaten Russia with some ‘strong actions,’ ‘in close coordination with the US and other allies’ at that, in the Ukrainian context,” Lavrov’s subordinates at the Russian Embassy in Tokyo wrote Saturday in a Facebook post translated by state media. “The inadmissibility and senselessness of such statements, as well as their counterproductiveness for the atmosphere of Russian-Japanese relations and dialogue, are obvious.”


Russia’s mobilization of military forces around Ukraine in recent months has stoked widespread misgivings about an expanded war in the former Soviet satellite state, particularly as Russian officials have signaled that the crisis can be averted only through a practical contraction of NATO. The growing tensions have global diplomatic ramifications, most recently evidenced by President Joe Biden’s virtual meeting with his Japanese counterpart.

“They were in very close alignment on the challenges that Russia is presenting to Ukraine,” a senior Biden administration official told reporters Friday. “I think Japan — the prime minister complimented the president on his handling and made clear that Japan would be fully behind the United States in the challenging days ahead.”

Biden and Kishida’s virtual meeting coincided with Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s face-to-face conversation with Lavrov in Geneva. That dialogue produced a commitment to continue discussing possible diplomatic resolutions, but Russian officials also reiterated the demand most intolerable to the trans-Atlantic alliance: their insistence that the United States and Western Europe cut their security ties to Eastern European members of NATO, who joined the bloc to see... (Read more)