The nuclear threat is approaching closer to Europe as relations with Russia continue to degrade. There is a risk of nuclear confrontation as Russia continues to intimidate other nations while parts of the European continent call the country for exacerbating refugee crisis and threatening world peace. Will a new Cold War start?
While the number of nuclear weapons in Russia and United States declined compared to the Cold War era, still, both countries hold around 90 percent of the world’s stocks. Previously, NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg called out Russia for intimidating neighbors with nuclear weapons. Washignton also expressed concern about the matter.
“The risk of confrontation with the use of nuclear weapons in Europe is higher than in the 1980s,” Reuters quoted Igor Ivanov, Russia’s foreign minister from 1998 to 2004 and now head of a Moscow-based think-tank founded by the Russian government. “We have less nuclear warheads, but the risk of them being used is growing,” added the official.
The decision of the United States to set up its missile defense shield in Europe is also adding to the problem. Specifically, a part of the shield will be placed in Poland which is closer to the Russian border. Closer US troops is seen as a threat to the Moscow.
“It can be assured that once the U.S. deploys its missile defense system in Poland, Russia would respond by deploying its own missile defense system in Kaliningrad,” explained Ivanov.
More important, the EU sanctions placed against Russia will only strain the relationship further and escalate tensions. According to Italian prime minister and ex-president of European Commission Romano Prodi, it will be detrimental for the EU to push the policy against Russia.
“For any European country it is not easy to be in conflict with EU official course,” Sputnik quoted the official. “Italy seeks improving relations with Russia, but there are certain limits established by general EU policy. I believe that Russia should bend every effort to help EU members that aspire to repair relations,” Prodi added. He said that mending relations with Russia is challenging because of the limited opportunities brought upon by EU policy. He also considered the policy a series of mistakes. But more importantly, the official said that a political dialogue may help ease the situation.