Russia warns of ‘direct military clash’ with US
Washington’s behavior on the world stage risks direct conflict between the nuclear states, the Russian embassy in the US has warned.
“Today, the United States continues to act with no regard to other countries’ security and interests, which contributes to an increase in nuclear risks,” the embassy said in a statement on its Telegram channel.
“The [US’] steps to further engage in a hybrid confrontation with Russia in the context of the Ukrainian crisis are fraught with unpredictable escalation and a direct military clash of nuclear powers.”
The embassy noted that Washington has recently withdrawn from two key arms control agreements, the 1987 Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which banned certain classes of land-based missiles, and the 1992 Treaty on Open Skies, which allowed for surveillance flights over each other’s territories.
The embassy urged the US to “take a closer look at its own nuclear policy instead of making unfounded accusations against the countries whose worldviews do not coincide with the American ones.”
“Our country faithfully fulfills its obligations as a nuclear-weapon state and makes every effort to reduce nuclear risks,” the diplomats said.
The statement comes after the US accused Moscow of using the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine as cover for its soldiers. The plant, the largest in Europe, was seized by Russian troops during the early stages of Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine, which was launched in late February. It continues to operate with Ukrainian personnel under Russian control.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called Russia’s action at the facility “the height of irresponsibility.” Russia and Ukraine, meanwhile, have been accusing each other of shelling the plant. According to Moscow, artillery fire by Ukrainians forces caused several fires and partial power outages this month.
Russia initiated a UN Security Council meeting last week regarding the situation around the Zaporozhye power plant. Russian envoy Vassily Nebenzia said that Moscow supports the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to inspect the facility as quickly as possible.