Russian Ambassador: NATO Ignoring Risks of Nuclear War

Russia’s ambassador to the United States has voiced his concerns of NATO members not treating the risk of nuclear war seriously, claiming that the West is pursuing dangerous policies and causing tension.

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Anatoly Antonov, who is Russia’s ambassador based in Washington spoke to Newsweek for an interview in which he lambasted Western leaders for “a flurry of blatant misrepresentation” of Moscow’s goals and missions that guide the deployment and use of nuclear weapons. He also criticized Western leaders for being careless about the risks associated with nuclear war; which could potentially end civilization as we know it.

Antonov said: “The current generation of NATO politicians clearly does not take the nuclear threat seriously.” Antonov is making the claim that leaders are misreading the risks of potential nuclear war. Russian officials “have never stopped our efforts to reach agreements that will guarantee that a catastrophic confrontation will not be unleashed.”

On the other hand, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair General Mark Milly are making the case that Russia is the one that has been “nuclear saber-rattling, after an interview with Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who has warned that atomic war is “serious, real, and we must not underestimate it.”

Vladimir Putin has himself been on the receiving end of similar criticism. Soon after launching what the Kremlin calls “special military operation” in Ukraine on February 24th, 2022, the Russian President Vladimir Putin then proceeded to escalate the alert status of Moscow’s nuclear forces, a decision that Putin feels was a response to “aggressive statements” from NATO countries and “unfriendly economic actions against our country” – talking about Western sanctions imposed in retaliation to Russia’s attack on Ukraine.

Antonov dismissed the claims as being part of a “baseless propaganda campaign,” and he proceeded to explain Russia’s nuclear policy: which states that weapons may only be used “in response to the use of WMD against Russia and its allies, or in the event of aggression against our country, when the very existence of the state is jeopardized.”

Dmitry Medvedev - who is the former Russian President and Prime-Minister - has already given warnings of nuclear deployments in the baltic region as a response to the potential admission of Sweden and Finland to NATO. Both countries have expressed their desire to join NATO, and will aim to file applications soon.

In June last year, similar concerns were voiced at a Joint Summit between U.S. resident Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin; that there would be no winners if a nuclear war were to take place.

The same comments were made again at a meeting for the U.N. Permanent Security Council prior to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The United States has provoked Russia over the decades by not following various measures aimed at preventing a nuclear war scenario.

The 20th Anniversary of Wasington’s decision to leave the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty will be marked in June - a treaty that served as a pioneering effort in the de escalation of nuclear tension while the Cold War was taking place.