MOSCOW, April 5. /TASS/. Russia and the United States have "already passed through" the Cold War stage in their relations and are now in the phase of a hot conflict, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said on the Sputnik radio station on Wednesday.
"I think we have already passed this period (of the Cold War - TASS). Now we are in the phase of a hot conflict with the United States. We are witnessing the direct involvement of that country in a hybrid war with Russia on various fronts," Ryabkov said in response to a question.
He called some forms of this hybrid war, being used by the US, completely unprecedented, which had not existed during the Cold War.
"Unfortunately, there has been much talk about the risk of a nuclear conflict. It's a rather dramatic issue," Ryabkov said. "I must stress that the Russian side is fully committed to the well-known postulates, which have been repeatedly stated recently, including at the highest level, to the effect there can be no winners in a nuclear war and that it must not be unleashed. But 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."
Ryabkov emphasized that Russia's opponents were "playing with fire in the truest sense of the word."
"They ought to be aware what any encroachment on our sovereignty, our territorial integrity and our statehood [will entail]. If this trend persists, we will be ready to take all measures and to use all means at our disposal in order to defend ourselves and ensure that our sovereignty be guaranteed. Underestimation of this resolve of ours is perhaps the worst thing that can happen or, conversely, not happen in the minds of our adversaries. We caution them against making fatal mistakes," Ryabkov concluded.