The Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergei Riabkov, launched on December 9, while the American president, Joe Biden, called his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky, that the current tense situation existing between Russia and States United on behalf of Ukraine is comparable, due to the risk of it unleashing a full-scale war, to the Cuban missile crisis of 1962.
Riabkov reiterated such fears yesterday despite the fact that apparently everything seems aimed at a dialogue in January between Washington and Moscow to avoid such danger. In the Russian deputy minister’s opinion, comparing the missile crisis with the current confrontation motivated by tensions around Ukraine “is not an exaggeration, it is not a very strong statement.”
In Kiev, however, they do think «excessive” let Moscow make such comparisons. The Ukrainian presidency had described as “hostile rhetoric towards Ukraine equating the current situation with the most dangerous moment of the Cold War”, referring to the confrontation between Moscow and Washington in October 1962 when it was found that the Soviet Union had deployed in Cuba nuclear missiles targeting the United States.
The Russian President, Vladimir Putin, insisted at his annual press conference last Thursday that the inclusion of Ukraine in NATO would cross “an unacceptable red line for Russia”, since, he explained, it would mean the placement in the neighboring country of “medium-range missiles” such as those that the USSR installed in Cuba almost 60 years ago and that came close to provoking the greatest conflict after the end of World War II.
Faced with this situation, Moscow presented on December 17 its demands on the “security guarantees” that it hopes to obtain in its talks with the United States and NATO to avoid a worsening of the situation. Putin has even threatened to carry out actions of a “military and technical” nature., if such proposals on security are ignored, although he himself admitted during his appearance before the press that he had observed a “positive” attitude on the part of Washington and Brussels to his demands on security. “Representatives have already been appointed by both parties,” he assured, in anticipation of the meetings scheduled in January with the United States and the Atlantic Alliance.
Yesterday, however, Riabkov called for such demands “to be taken very seriously” and not perceived as over-the-top. He also urged that conversations begin without loss of time. Although Putin has already indicated January as the month when the dialogue on the matter will begin and yesterday the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, also confirmed it, announcing that his country “will maintain at the beginning of 2022, after the end of the New Year holidays in Russia, the main round of talks with United States on guarantees of security”. Then, he added, negotiations with NATO will come with the participation of high-ranking military personnel.