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Russia warns of another Cuban Missile Crisis

Russia warns of another Cuban Missile Crisis

Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov warned that the deployment of U.S. land-based missile systems near Russia’s borders were comparable to the same situation that sparked the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.

Russia has historically been critical of any plan by the United States to deploy missile systems in Eastern Europe. Additionally, Russia has condemned the U.S. withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

The Cuban Missile Crisis was an event in 1962 when Russia sent nuclear missiles to Cuba in response to U.S. deployment of missiles to Turkey. This crisis was the closest the world came to nuclear war. The crisis resolved when the U.S. and Russia negotiated removal of Russian missiles from Cuba in exchange for the United States removing missiles from Turkey. Additionally, the United States pledged to not invade Cuba or assist any other force in the overthrow of the Cuban government.

Regarding the current situation, Ryabkov was quoted, “If things get as far as an actual deployment on the ground of these sorts of systems, then the situation won’t just get more complicated, it will escalate right to the limit…We could find ourselves in a situation where we have a rocket crisis close not just to the crisis of the 1980s but close to the [Cuban Missile] crisis.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin stated in February this year when he warned that Russia would match any U.S. deployment near Russia by either stationing Russia missiles closer to the United States or deploying faster missiles which are claimed to be able to evade any potential missile defense system. Faster missiles would also give the U.S. less time to respond to an attack.

Currently, Russian missiles take thirty minutes to reach the United States if launched from Russia or six minutes to reach the U.S. coast if launched from a submarine.

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Trump Threatens US Will Increase Nukes Until Russia, China “Come To Their Senses”

After hours of closed door talks in Moscow between US National Security Advisor John Bolton and his Russian counterpart Secretary of the Russian Security Council, Nikolay Patrushev, Bolton told reporters that the United States has yet to take a decision on whether it plans to deploy missiles in Europe if the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) is scrapped.

Bolton further said that he now understands Russia’s position on nuclear arms regulations and treaties much better, and added that more consultations on arms treaties are needed, while further denying prior Russian charges that a US pullout of the INF was an attempt at “blackmail,” according to Russian state media sources. He subsequently had a 90-minute meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and later in the trip is expected to meet with President Vladimir Putin.

John Bolton shakes hands with Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev. Via RFE/RL

This comes following President Trump’s shock weekend announcement concerning the Reagan-era treaty with the Soviet Union, wherein he said after a campaign rally in Elko, Nevada: “We’re not going to let them violate a nuclear agreement,” and indicated, “We’re going to terminate the agreement.” The Guardian had the day prior to the Saturday statement revealed that Bolton – in what some described as an overreach of the position’s typical role – had been pushing Trump to abandon the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

Moscow’s reaction on Sunday was fierce with Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov warning that Trump’s pledge to “terminate” the treaty was “very dangerous” and that “[Withdrawal] won’t be understood by the international community, but [instead] arouse serious condemnation of all members of the world community, who are committed to security and stability and are ready to work on strengthening the current regimes in arms control.”

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“Complete Chaos”: Russia Slams “Dangerous” U.S. Pullout Of INF Treaty As “Blackmail”

Washington’s planned withdrawal from the international Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, announced by President Trump on Saturday, has been slammed by Russia as “a very dangerous step” which is ultimately part of “continuing attempts to achieve Russia’s concessions through blackmail” in statements made by Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov on Sunday.

And Russian lawmaker Konstantin Kosachev, who chairs the Russian Parliament’s Upper House Foreign Affairs Committee, warned the move could create a domino effect endangering other landmark deals like the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START). The lawmaker said such an outcome pits mankind against “complete chaos in terms of nuclear weapons.

Russian Deputy FM Sergei Ryabkov further said that the decision would receive the condemnation of the international community as it could trigger a new arms race and make the world deeply unstable. However, Ryabkov accused the United States seeking “total domination”and said it’s attempting to remove impediments to that goal.

“At first glance, I can say that apparently the INF Treaty creates problems for pursuing the line towards the US total domination in military sphere,” Ryabkov said, according to TASS.

He explained further of the treaty signed between the Soviet Union and the United States in 1987 in Washington, DC: “This would be a very dangerous step, which, I’m sure, won’t be just understood by the international community, but arouse serious condemnation of all members of the world community, who are committed to security and stability and are ready to work on strengthening the current regimes in arms control.”

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