Russia declares the United States an ‘enemy’ for the first time

Bilateral relations between Russia and the US have plummeted to a new low after months of escalating tensions over Ukraine. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov has now openly referred to the US as an “enemy.”

During a press briefing on Tuesday, Peskov stated, “We are now an enemy country for them, just as they are for us.” This marks a significant shift from previous rhetoric, where Russia had labeled the US and its Western allies as “unfriendly states” or “opponents” due to their support for Ukraine.

According to Agentstvo, an independent Russian investigative site, this is the first instance of Russia officially designating the US as an “enemy” state. Experts consulted by TRT World noted that this terminology reflects a long-standing view within Russia, even if it had not been explicitly stated before.

Former US diplomat and Ambassador to Azerbaijan, Matthew Bryza, expressed no surprise at the declaration. “Russia’s national security and military doctrines have long identified the United States as its primary foe,” Bryza commented. He suggested that Russia aims to create rifts within NATO, particularly between the US and European members, by portraying the US as dragging its allies into conflict.

Ali Fuat Gokce of Gaziantep University echoed this sentiment, highlighting Russia’s perception of NATO as a tool of US expansionism. Despite this, Gokce does not foresee direct military conflict between the US and Russia, predicting that proxy wars will continue as the primary mode of engagement. He pointed out that historically, both nations have relied on proxy forces to counter each other’s influence, a trend likely to persist.

The escalation follows allegations by former American intelligence officer Scott Ritter, who claimed he was barred from entering St. Petersburg and had his passport confiscated. Peskov responded by emphasizing that any actions against Americans would only be justified if they were directly linked to intelligence activities.

Ritter, who has a conviction for sexual offenses, told TASS he was removed from a flight while en route to the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. Known for his pro-Kremlin views, Ritter’s case adds another layer to the strained US-Russia relations.

Peskov’s “enemy” statement comes in the wake of President Biden authorizing Ukraine to use US-supplied weapons on Russian territory, further inflaming the situation and solidifying the adversarial stance between the two nations.

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