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West should enter into talks with Russia to avoid nuclear escalation, says US expert

"These steps will be politically difficult for the West, but it is nonetheless clearly in our national interest to do so," US political scientist Harry Kazianis emphasized

WASHINGTON, October 4. /TASS/. The United States and its allies should think about opening up communication channels with Russia over the Ukraine conflict to kick-start negotiations and avoid an escalation that may trigger an exchange of nuclear strikes, US political scientist Harry Kazianis said in an article posted on the Responsible Statecraft web portal on Monday.

"Clearly, Washington and its allies should be finding ways to open up communications with Russian President Vladimir Putin to try to end the fighting," the expert said.

These steps will be politically difficult for the West, he pointed out. "But it is nonetheless clearly in our national interest to do so," he emphasized.

Diplomacy is necessary to avoid a more dangerous scenario of the current conflict growing into a nuclear stand-off, he said. "In fact, it seems that tensions are rising by the second," Kazianis said.

"Considering the stakes — among them, the possibility that Russia will feel so boxed in that it will turn to its arsenal of 6,400 nuclear warheads and try to end the Ukraine war on its own terms despite the risk of a nuclear holocaust — one would think talks would already be happening as we speak," the political scientist insisted.

As the expert pointed out, "Kyiv does not have the manpower, resources, or overall military capability to win anything right now."

"Yes, they have been successful recently as the Biden Administration is flooding them with weapons from our own military stockpiles," Kazianis said.

In the expert’s opinion, if the current situation persists, the Kiev regime’s demands for more and more advanced weapons will only grow. "Here is where we enter dangerous waters," he stressed.

The US expert said he, himself, had participated in more than thirty combat simulations in wargames under his own direction for a private defense contract over the last several months, "looking at various aspects of the Russia-Ukraine war, and one thing is clear: the chances of a nuclear war increase significantly every day that passes."

"In fact, in 28 of the thirty scenarios I have run since the war began, some sort of nuclear exchange occurs," the expert said.

"While each scenario has postulated a different point at which Moscow decides to use a tactical nuclear weapon in order to counter conventional platforms it can’t easily defeat, the chances that Russia uses nukes grow as new and more powerful military capabilities are introduced into the battlefield by the West," the expert pointed out.

"The good news is there is a way out of this crisis — however imperfect it may be. In the two scenarios where nuclear war was averted, direct negotiations led to a ceasefire," the US political scientist said.

Danger of absolute victory strategy

Senior Research Fellow at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft in Washington DC Anatol Lieven also pointed to the threat of the use of nuclear weapons as a result of the Ukraine conflict escalation.

Some Western politicians’ desire to seek "absolute victory" over Russia is a flawed approach, the expert said in an article posted on the Responsible Statecraft web portal.

"As for absolute victory, not one American war since 1945 has ended that way. All have led to draws, compromises, long civil wars, or eventual outright defeat. The search for absolute victory in Ukraine points towards either unending war, or the Russian use of absolute weapons in response," the expert emphasized.

"But of course, if we were to end up in a nuclear exchange with Russia, our situation would come to resemble not World War III, but something much worse. Blurring the line between proxy war and direct war is therefore not just irresponsible, but dangerous," he cautioned.

Moreover, the West’s attempts to inflict a complete defeat on Russia may trigger a response from China that would be quite disadvantageous for the West, the expert argued.

"If the Chinese government becomes convinced that America is in fact waging a war for the complete defeat of Russia and the overthrow of the Russian state, then fears for the effect on their own vital interests seem all too likely to lead them to give the kind of enormous military aid to Russia that America has been giving to Ukraine — at which point the balance of forces could swing back hard against Ukraine," he emphasized.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on February 24 that in response to a request by the heads of the Donbass republics for assistance he had made a decision to carry out a special military operation in Ukraine. In response to Russia’s decision, the West began to impose numerous large-scale sanctions on Russia stage by stage. Along with this move, Western countries began to supply weapons and military equipment worth billions of US dollars to the Kiev regime.

Pursuant to Russia’s Nuclear Doctrine (the Fundamentals of Russia’s 2020 State Nuclear Containment Policy), Russia may use nuclear weapons in the event that the enemy employs these or other weapons of mass destruction against it or its allies or there comes reliable information about the launch of ballistic missiles for an attack on Russia and its allies, or the enemy impacts facilities required for retaliatory moves by nuclear forces and also in case of aggression against Russia with the use of conventional weapons, if the state’s very existence is threatened.