By Alexander Miller, consultant in international politics, for Eurasia Business News – April 25, 2022

View on the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in Moscow, January 2022. Photo credits : Swann Collins.

The Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that the inadmissibility of nuclear war is a principled position of Russia. At the same time, the Russian top diplomat said today that the risks of a nuclear war are “very significant”, amid war in Ukraine.

This is our principled position, we proceed from it, and, of course, I would very much not like to see now … when the risks are really very, very significant, I would not like to see these risks artificially inflated, and there are a lot of people who want to. The danger is serious, it is real, it cannot be underestimated“, said Sergey Lavrov to journalists of the Russian TV Channel One.

The Russian Foreign Minister added that the presidents of Russia and the United States, Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden, as well as the “five” permanent members of the UN Security Council, made statements about the inadmissibility of nuclear war.

Comparing the current situation with the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, the Russian minister noted that earlier there was a channel of communication “that both leaders trusted,” and now “there is no such channel and no one is trying to create it.” “Then there were few written rules, but the rules of conduct were quite clear. Moscow understood how Washington behaved, Washington understood how Moscow behaved. And now the rules are also generally few. There is the Treaty on Strategic Offensive Arms… but at the same time, all other instruments of arms control and non-proliferation are practically destroyed,” added Mr. Lavrov.

On February 28, a few days after the start of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin, ordered to transfer the strategic deterrence forces, which include nuclear weapons, “to a special regime of combat duty.” In this context, the United States canceled the test launch of the Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile. The US authorities explained the decision by the desire to reduce nuclear tensions with Russia.

Read also : U.S. Treasury Imposed Sanctions on Members of Russian Duma and Sberbank CEO

Now, after 62 days of war, the Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov believes that the situation in Ukraine will end with a treaty. According to him, its parameters will depend on the “stage of military operations.” The Russian minister noted that in Istanbul the talks with Kiev took place “in the situation that then developed on the ground, now it is different.”

In besieged Mariupol, in Southern Ukraine, massive shelling of the Azovstal plant continues, where, in addition to hundreds of Ukrainian soliders, about a thousand civilians are in underground bunkers. On April 25, in the morning, the Russian armed forces announced the opening of a humanitarian corridor, so that Ukrainian civilians could safely leave the Azvostal plant.

On April 20, the Russian troops called on the Ukrainian military, who are at the Azovstal plant, to surrender. On April 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered to cancel the assault on Azovstal and block the Ukrainian military there.

Russia launched a military operation in the morning of February 24, with the official goal to “demilitarize Ukraine”, remove the Ukrainian government and protect the right of Russians living in Donbass, Eastern Ukraine. In a televised address to Russian citizens, President Vladimir Putin stated that circumstances “require decisive and immediate action from us, the people’s republics of Donbass  have asked for help.” 

The Kremlin continues voicing that Moscow’s plans do not include the occupation of Ukrainian territories. The Russian goals would be “demilitarization and denazification” of the country.

Read also : How will Russia respond to Western sanctions ?

Ukraine and its Western partners sees the Russian military operation as an invasion and imposed strong strong sanctions against Russian state officials, banks, companies and oligarchs, to put pressure on the Russian government and lead it to a ceasefire and a withdrawal from Ukraine.

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