He asks “not to underestimate” this scenario, which he compares with the Missile Crisis of 1962, and reproaches Ukraine for hardening its position in the dialogues
The Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, warned this Monday of the “real risk” that the conflict in Ukraine be the trigger for a third world war. “The danger is serious, it is real. It cannot be underestimated,” Lavrov said during an intervention on Russian television collected by the Interfax news agency.
Lavrov has compared the current situation with that of what is known as the Missile Crisis of 1962, but the head of Russian diplomacy has recalled that “at that time there were rules, written rules.” “The rules of conduct were very clear. It was clear in Moscow how Washington was behaving and Washington was clear how Moscow was behaving, (but) now there are few rules left,” he argued. So, in 1962, “there was a channel of communication that the leaders trusted.” “Now that channel does not exist and nobody is trying to create it. There are timid attempts that have been made in the first phase, but they have not worked,” he revealed. Thus, he has mentioned the START treaty, “but at the same time other control and non-proliferation instruments have been practically destroyed.”
Lavrov has reproached the United States for “sending many weapons to Ukraine despite our warnings” and that they have “stirred up their Russophobic essence”.
Asked why Moscow was doing to prevent this Third World War, Lavrov argued that “Russia has already done a lot in many ways for years.” “During the (Donald) Trump Administration, we advocated at the highest level for Moscow and Washington to reaffirm (Mikhail) Gorbachev and (Ronald) Reagan’s 1987 declaration that there can be no winners in a nuclear war and that it should never happen. We ask the Trump team to return to this very important statement, important for our peoples, but also for the whole world,” Lavrov explained. “Unfortunately we failed to convince our colleagues that this initiative was necessary and in June last year, during the meeting in Geneva, our presidents made that statement,” he stressed.
Furthermore, Lavrov recalled that the five permanent members of the UN Security Council have made a similar statement. “And that is our principled position”, he has riveted him.
Kyiv’s toughening stance
Besides, Lavrov has reproached the Ukrainian government for having hardened its position in the negotiations with Russia due to pressure from their Western allies. “Neither the United States nor the United Kingdom (…) advise (Volodimir) Zelenski to speed up the negotiations, but advise him to harden his position,” he pointed out. Thus, he recalled that in Istanbul Ukraine received a signed proposal for “the bases of a treaty”, but Ukraine rejected it, “a big step backwards”. “They backed down from the positions we had agreed upon as a base and told them to do it,” he explained. However, he stressed, Russia has continued to negotiate “and a week ago we gave them another version of the agreement that took into account their positions and we have been waiting ever since.”
Lavrov has assured that in any case Russia wants to continue with the negotiations. “We still want to negotiate with the team appointed by Zelenski. These contacts are going to continue,” she stressed, although he warned that “the goodwill is not unlimited.”
Lastly, Lavrov stressed that Poland would be willing to send its military to Ukraine as peacekeeping forces. “Prime Minister Prime Minister (Mateusz) Morawiecki has raised some kind of peacekeeping operation in Ukraine and is clearly interested in sending his troops there,” he said.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.