Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday that Wednesday’s drone incident at the Kremlin was a “hostile act” and Russia would respond with “concrete actions”.
Russia has accused Ukraine of firing drones at the Kremlin in an attempt to kill President Vladimir Putin, and said the United States was behind the purported attack. Ukraine has denied that, and the White House has dismissed Russian “lies”.
“It was clearly a hostile act, it is clear that the Kyiv terrorists could not have committed it without the knowledge of their masters,” Lavrov told a press conference in India.
“We will not respond by talking about ‘casus belli’ or not, we will respond with concrete actions,” he said.
“Casus belli” is a Latin term for an action that provides justification for war. Russia’s war in Ukraine is now in its 15th month, though Moscow continues to describe it as a “special military operation”.
The White House on Wednesday denied any involvement in an alleged drone attack on the Kremlin, after Russian spokesman Dmitry Peskov accused Washington of guiding Ukraine to launch the assault.
The incident at the Kremlin comes amid several other recent explosions and trail derailments on Russian and occupied Ukrainian territory.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky rejected on Wednesday Moscow’s claim that Kyiv had attempted to attack the Kremlin and said his country would soon start a counteroffensive on its own soil against Russian forces.
Speaking at a press conference in Finland, NATO’s newest member, Zelensky said his concern was to defend Ukraine’s own cities and villages against the Russian invasion launched almost 15 months ago.
“We don’t attack Putin, or Moscow, we fight on our territory,” Zelensky said.
Asked why it was in Russia’s interests to accuse Ukraine of trying to assassinate Putin, Zelensky said: “It’s very simple. Russia has no victories. He (Putin) can no longer motivate his society, and he can’t just send his troops to their death anymore… now he needs to somehow motivate his people to go forward.”