Thursday, 27 Jan 2022

Russia nuclear war warning: Putin threatens to unleash hellfire in EU with missile launch

Russia: UK warned of consequences of sanctions by expert

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Sergei Ryabkov, Russia’s deputy foreign minister, said today (Monday) that Moscow would be forced to make the move if NATO were to do the same. The missiles could hit numerous countries across Europe.

Mr Ryabkov told Russia’s RIA news agency the West would force Russia’s hand if it did not join a moratorium on intermediate-range nuclear forces in Europe – part of a range of concessions it is seeking to defuse tensions on the Ukrainian border.

He added: “That is, it will be a confrontation, this will be the next round.”

Intermediate-range nuclear weapons have a range of 500 to 5,500 km (310 to 3,400 miles).

They were banned in Europe under a 1987 pact between then-Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and US President Ronald Reagan, in an easing of Cold War tensions.

By 1991, the two sides had destroyed nearly 2,700 of them.

However, the US withdrew from the treaty in 2019 over alleged violations by Russia concerning the development of ground-launched cruise missiles, referred to by NATO as the “Screwdriver”.

The declaration follows growing concerns about a build up of Russian troops and military equipment on the border with Ukraine.

Following a meeting with the NATO chief last month, Ukraine’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba said Russia’s “sophisticated military infrastructure” was “ready to be used” against his nation.

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Mr Ryabkov said there were “indirect indications” that NATO was moving closer to re-deploying their own intermediate-range missiles.

NATO responded that there will be no new US missiles in Europe.

It added it was prepared to deter new Russian missiles with a “measured” response that would only involve conventional weapons.

However, Mr Ryabkov said Russia had a “complete lack of trust” in the military alliance.

He commented: “They don’t permit themselves to do anything that could somehow increase our security – they believe they can act as they need, to their advantage, and we simply have to swallow all this and deal with it. This is not going to continue.”

It comes amid a migrant crisis on the border between Belarus and Poland, which Polish prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki attributed to Russian president Vladimir Putin’s “masterminding”.

NATO previously said it “strongly condemns” the country’s use of “irregular migration” as a tool to destabilise the EU.

Speaking to Politico, Mr Kuleba said the military build-up near Ukraine and the migrant crisis on the Belarusian border should not be treated as separate, but part of a coordinated Russian “strategy to shatter Europe”.

He added: “We should see everything that is happening east of the EU border and inside of the EU as part of a general effort.”

More to follow…

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