Tensions between Pindostan and Russia ‘more dangerous than Cold War’
Raf Sanchez, Telegraph, Oct 8 2016
Moscow has moved nuclear-capable missiles near the Polish border, its defence ministry confirmed on Saturday, as Germany’s foreign minister warned that tensions between Russia and the West were “more dangerous” today than during the Cold War. Russia moved missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons into Kaliningrad, an Russian coastal enclave nestled between Poland and Lithuania. The Iskander missiles have a range of 450 miles, meaning they could hit Berlin if launched from Kaliningrad. Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the German foreign minister, said he was watching the collapsing relations between the West and Russia with dismay. He told the Bild newspaper:
It’s a fallacy to think that this is like the Cold War. The current times are different and more dangerous.
His sentiments were echoed by Wolfgang Ischinger, a German official who served as a mediator for Ukraine, who told the newspaper:
There is considerable danger of a military confrontation. This danger has not been as strong in decades and the confidence between West and East has never been so low.
Lithuania’s foreign minister, Linas Linkevicius, said Russia’s missile deployment was an effort to “seek concessions from the West” over the conflicts in both Syria and Ukraine while Poland said Russia’s behavior was “very alarming.” Russia said the deployment was part of a routine missile drill that it was carrying out across the country. It came as Russia and Pindostan prepared to clash at the UN with rival resolutions over Aleppo. Pindostan backed a French resolution demanding Russian and the Syrian regime cease their aerial bombardment of the city, which Russia vetoed. The French draft received 11 votes in favor, while China and Angola abstained. Venezuela joined Russia in voting against it. Russia offered a resolution of its own which was opposed by Pindostan, Britain and France. British UN Ambassador Matthew Rycroft told Vitaly Churkin:
Thanks to your actions today, Syrians will continue to lose their lives in Aleppo and beyond to Russian and Syrian bombing. Please stop now.
As diplomatic tensions over Syria continued at the UN, the Syrian regime continued to advance street by street in Aleppo. Assad’s troops pushed back rebel and jihadist forces in the north and the centre of the city. At least 305 civilians have been killed in rebel-held areas since Assad’s forces began their ground offensive in late September. The Russian defense ministry said Saturday that one of its helicopters had been shot at with a shoulder-launched anti-aircraft missile fired by Daesh. The helicopter escaped unscathed. Russia said its intelligence indicated that the fighters in Syria had received the missiles from Iraq. If confirmed, the incident represents a potentially alarming escalation in Daesh’s weaponry.