MOSCOW, April 25. /TASS/. Risks of a direct military confrontation between two nuclear powers - Russia and the US - are growing constantly, says Russian Foreign Ministry Non-Proliferation and Arms Control Department Director Vladimir Yermakov.
"If the US continues to follow its current course towards a standoff with Russia, while constantly raising the stakes on the verge of a direct military conflict, then the fate of the New START Treaty may become sealed," Yermakov told TASS. "However, in the worst-case scenario, i.e. if Washington drives the situation to a military clash between the strongest nuclear powers, then it is not the fate of the New START but the fate of the entire world that will be a concern."
"This once again confirms that the most pressing threat today is connected not with the dynamic of stimuli for the first massive strike, which is supposed to be curbed by agreements like the New START, but with a danger of nuclear escalation as a result of a direct military confrontation between nuclear powers," Yermakov explained. "And, to our deepest regrets, these risks keep growing."
"This is exactly why we constantly point to the danger of US and NATO’s actions, who, it seems, have believed in the illusion of impunity and got carried away with such chimeras as ‘escalation control’ and ‘escalatory domination’," the diplomat underscored. "We continue sending sobering signals to the West that a catastrophe must be prevented."
However, Yermakov pointed out, the West "remains deaf to the calls," and even "maliciously distorts them for propaganda purposes."
The diplomat underscored that, in order to improve the situation, "the US must immediately take concrete steps on de-escalation and to abolish the hostile course towards undermining Russia’s security in practice."
"There is simply no other way to reverse the negative trend," Yermakov concluded.