Andrei Baklanov, an advisor at the Russian Federation Council and former Russian ambassador to Saudi Arabia, warned the U.S. against continuing its “provocations.” In an April 16 interview to Russia Today Arabic TV, Baklanov said that if the U.S. directly targets Russia’s interests, the Russians “will use force against he U.S., as was promised by the Chief of Staff,” adding that “this would constitute a big step towards war.” Baklanov then said that although the nuclear capabilities of Russia and the U.S. are about equal, Russia is “10-15 years ahead” of the U.S. in terms of its military technology. Considering the Russian experience in Syria, added Baklanov, “compared to the failing negative American experience in the various combat theaters, we believe that our army is more combat ready.” Baklanov was speaking in Russian, and RT provided a voice-over Arabic translation.
Following is a transcript:
Andrei Baklanov: If the [American] provocations continue, and if they directly target the interests of the Russian Federation, we will have to use force against the United States, as was promised by the Chief of Staff. This would constitute a big step towards war, but we would have no other choice. We should say, in precise words, to the Americans that we do not value the current state of the American armed forces very much, or their combat readiness for military confrontation. If we compare the military technology, we are ten to fifteen years ahead of them. With regard to nuclear capabilities and nuclear missiles, the two sides are more or less equal. When we evaluate our experience in Syria, compared to the failing negative American experience in the various combat theaters, we believe that our army is more combat ready. Therefore, we advise the U.S. President not to test us, because he might end up with something he would not like, even if it is limited to a local military confrontation [in Syria]. This is not our first choice, but we would have to respond.