MOSCOW, December 9. /TASS/. Russia and the US could end up in a situation resembling the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said on Thursday, referring to the Cold War standoff over a Soviet missile deployment in Cuba.
There’s still time for a reasonable agreement that would prevent NATO expansion eastward, he told reporters.
"You know, it could quite possibly reach that point," he said when asked if things could get as far as to repeat the Cuban Missile Crisis, also known as the Caribbean Crisis in Russia. "If comrades on the other side fail to understand us and keep doing what they are doing, we might wake up at some point to see something similar, if that’s what further developments will suggest."
"That would be a total failure of diplomacy, a failure of foreign policy," he went on to say. "But there’s still time to try to reach an agreement based on reason."
Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier called on NATO to start talks to provide Russia with "reliable and long-term security guarantees." Moscow will insist, during contacts with the US and its allies, on an agreement that would prevent NATO from further eastward expansion and the deployment of threatening weapons systems close to Russia. The guarantees will need to be legally binding because, Putin said, the West had walked back on their previous verbal commitments.