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Diplomat: No grounds for Russia-NATO conflict but risks of incidents rise

August 10, 2016, 21:29 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, August 10 /TASS/. There are no grounds for a full-scale Russia-NATO conflict but the risks of undeliberate incidents are rising, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said in an interview with the Mezhdunarodnaya Zhizn (International Life) journal.

"I am convinced that there will be no war. What is happening now is the usual western practice of muscle flexing and a new attempt to show its place to Russia," Ryabkov said in an interview published at the Russian Foreign Ministry website on Wednesday.

"It is also an attempt to play to those on NATO’s eastern and northeastern flanks who want to use this complicated period in the Russia-West relations in their narrow and momentary interests, i.e. to gain some bonuses in the form of greater physical presence of troops from other countries; the construction of certain facilities, etc," the Russian deputy foreign minister said.

"However, there are still no grounds for a large-scale conflict. Nevertheless, I cannot but say that the risks of undeliberate incidents are rising," Ryabkov stressed. "Our positive reaction to the initiative of Finnish President Sauli Niinist· was not accidental. Russian President Vladimir Putin supported the proposals in a conversation with the Finnish president," the Russian diplomat said.

Ryabkov said it was necessary to consider what could be done for making the flights by military planes over the Baltic Sea safer. "We handed over our ideas to NATO countries. That was a topic for discussion at the July session of the Russia-NATO Council. We are waiting for their reaction. We want to make things more predictable," Ryabkov added.

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