Russia has threatened to deploy intermediate-range nuclear missiles in Europe, as tensions over Ukraine rise.
The warning from the country’s Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov comes amid fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine, where the Kremlin has gathered mass 175,000 troops.
Vladimir Putin has been warned of “major consequences” if he invades Ukraine as Russia dumps troops on the neighboring country’s border.
Ryabkov has now threatened to revive the medium-range nuclear missiles, deployed in large numbers by both sides during the Cold War in the early 1980s.
He denied that Russia had any plans to invade Ukraine and said Moscow would “respond militarily” if Nato sought to expand eastward.
Speaking to state-run RIA Novost, he warned “there will be confrontation, this will be the next step” and that previously banned weapons “will emerge from our side”.
“They don’t exist at the moment, we have a unilateral ban,” he added.
When they were first deployed, the missiles brought Europe’s cities into much closer range, adding a more terrifying aspect to the nuclear arms race.
But a historic treaty signed between Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and US President Ronald Reagan ultimately saw the two sides destroy nearly 2,700 of them.
The United States withdrew from the treaty in 2019 after complaining for years of alleged violations surrounding Russia’s development of ground-launched cruise missiles.
Recent US intelligence 175,000 Russian troops discovered on the border with Ukraine as fears of a potential invasion in early 2022 are growing.
Meanwhile, Moscow declared fighter jets intercept an American spy plane flew over the Black Sea.
Rising tensions have prompted the G7 group of Western nations – meeting in Liverpool – to issue a warning to Russia.
“Russia should have no doubt that further military aggression against Ukraine will have enormous consequences and be costly,” the group said in the statement.
“We reaffirm our unwavering commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as the right of any sovereign state to determine its own future.”
British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace recently said that the UK has ready to use force to help defend Ukraine.
What is happening between Russia and Ukraine?
Russia and Ukraine remain technically at war since 2014
Ukraine was aligned with Russia as part of the Soviet Union until its collapse in 1991, after which the country became an independent country.
Both countries remained closely intertwined – but Ukraine gradually began to separate, seeking deeper ties with the West.
Open conflict was triggered by the Ukrainian Revolution of 2014 – when an uprising toppled the pro-Russian government of Viktor Yanukovych.
Vladimir Putin’s forces responded by annexing the Crimea region from Ukraine – a move widely condemned by the West.
The conflict then spiraled as pro-Russian groups in eastern Ukraine later took up arms against the state.
Russia has backed separatists who have established breakaway republics in Donetsk and Luhansk.
Putin’s forces then launched a military assault on these areas as they supported the rebels.
Russia continues to hold Crimea – and claims the region is ready to join them after the referendum.
Seven years have passed and the War in Donbass is still at a stalemate.
An estimated 14,000 people have been killed in the conflict, including more than 3.0o0 civilians.
Ukraine and the rebels signed a new ceasefire in July 2020 – but clashes have steadily increased throughout 2021.
Russia denies that it plans to attack Ukraine and condemns the G7 warning.
The British Embassy said: “Russia has made many proposals to NATO on ways to reduce tensions.
“The G7 Forum could be an opportunity to discuss them, but so far we have heard nothing but aggressive slogans.”
Kiev’s allies are committed to their support, but intervening against Russia could risk leading to a conflict that could erupt into World War 3.
Russia has been asked Ukraine not to join NATO and angrily demanded that the US stop all military activities in the region.
Joe Biden has hold a highly profitable two-hour call with Vladimir Putin in an effort to de-escalate tensions – with the US President threatening sanctions over the situation on Russia’s borders.
According to US officials, Biden told Putin there would be “clear and decisive” consequences in the event of an invasion.
https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/17031975/russia-warns-nuclear-missile-deployment-europe/ Russia warns of deployment of nuclear missiles in Europe as tensions over Ukraine reach boiling point