Nuke powers conflict potential could snowball into war in Asia-Pacific
Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister says the West's continued military escalations increase the risks of an open conflict similar to what happened in the Euro-Atlantic region.
The Asia-Pacific region is at risk of witnessing an open war between nuclear powers if Western countries continue to increase their military and political provocations, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov warned Thursday.
"The accumulated and timely unresolved conflict potential among nuclear powers has already led to an extremely acute crisis in the Euro-Atlantic region and threatens to escalate into an open military confrontation in the Asia-Pacific region," he said during a conference on strengthening the nuclear nonproliferation regime in Kyrgyzstan's capital, Bishkek.
Ryabkov added that NATO is pushing toward a potential conflict with Russia, which, in turn, might lead to military escalations among nuclear powers.
"NATO countries have staked on relentless and harmful expansion and assertive military and political development of territories directly in the area Russia's vital interests. Forced retaliatory measures ... have been used by our adversaries as a pretext for the transition to open forceful pressure on the Russian Federation, now this pressure is dangerously balancing on the brink of an armed conflict between nuclear powers," he cautioned.
However, the Deputy Minister confirmed that Moscow remains committed to finding a path toward a nuclear-free world.
Commenting on proposals to establish nuclear-free zones in Central and Eastern Europe as a means to reduce potential nuclear risks, Ryabkov said such ideas are very "distant from reality."
"Today, I do not find anything more distant from reality than such ideas [to create a nuclear-free zone in Central and Eastern Europe] in relation to this region," the top official said.
"If people who are now considering such abstractions were really interested in reducing nuclear risks, reducing nuclear arsenals, they would start by stepping up work with Washington in favor of removing non-strategic nuclear weapons from Europe."
On Russian-US relations, Ryabkov told reporters that Moscow is always open to discussing any matter with Washington, confirming that dialogue between the two countries continues on a variety of issues, including humanitarian and visa cases, as well as the work of mutual diplomatic missions.
However, he stressed that talks on major issues are non-existent at the moment due to "the unwillingness of the US to discuss topics that are senseless to consider without Russia, bypassing Russia."
"We proceed from this. No initiatives from our country in terms of appealing to the Americans 'let's discuss this or that' are not expected, there will be no news in this direction. But there are contacts on international platforms, in multilateral formats. It is quite normal. At least, we ourselves never refuse these contacts," Ryabkov said in a briefing.
US State Secretary Antony Blinken arrived in Ukraine on Wednesday in an unannounced visit, where he stressed that Washington will maintain support for Kiev for as long as it takes, also revealing further military aid to its ally at war with Russia.