The United States is “playing with fire” and engaged in a hot “hybrid war” with Russia, having already graduated from the Cold War stage, a Russian government minister has claimed, even going so far as to blame the U.S. for rising nuclear tensions.
The new Cold War is already over, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said, accusing the United States of “playing with fire” by pushing the world towards nuclear war that he insists Russians wish to avoid.
The comments come just hours after Russia announced it had deployed nuclear-capable missiles to the borders of NATO in Belarus, and refitted Belarussian jets with the equipment to carry and drop nuclear bombs. Moscow made a tacit accusation that the United States was to blame for this, saying Russia was doing no more than America already did, in stationing nuclear weapons in the territory of European allies.
While blame is generally laid at Russia’s door for invading Ukraine, the minister insisted it was in fact the U.S. that was pushing the world towards nuclear war and that Russia was the peaceful party trying to avoid such an exchange. Expressing this, Ryabkov postulated: “…there can be no winners in a nuclear war and it must not be unleashed.”
“The way our American opponents are recklessly, provocatively, and in many respects absolutely carelessly, moving up the escalation ladder, the way they are blinded by their absolutely absurd certainty about their ability to inflict a strategic defeat on Russia, makes one doubt their mental faculties and their common sense.”
The U.S. is “playing with fire” and was risking making “fatal mistakes”, Ryabkov said, saying the Russian Federation “will be ready to take all measures and to use all means at our disposal” if there were attempts to encroach on their sovereignty.