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Rossiya Segodnya Head Kiselev Warns West Against Repeating Cuban Crisis in Situation With Ukraine

© Sputnik / Grigory Sysoyev / Go to the mediabankDmitry Kiselev, the director general of the Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency
Dmitry Kiselev, the director general of the Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency - Sputnik International, 1920, 20.12.2021
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Dmitry Kiselev, the director general of the Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency, said on Monday that the tense situation around Ukraine has the potential of escalating into a new Cuban missile crisis if the West fails to provide Russia with the security guarantees it has requested.
In an interview with the BBC, Kiselev said that if Ukraine joins NATO or the alliance decides to advance its military infrastructure in Ukraine, Moscow "will hold a gun to America's head." Russia has the military capability for that, he added.

"Russia has the best weapons in the world – hypersonic ones. They'd reach America as fast as US or British weapons could reach Moscow from Ukraine. It would be the Cuban missile crisis all over again, but with a shorter flight time for the missiles," Kiselev told the media.

He stressed that Moscow does not want escalation, and if it happens, it would be by the West's choice.

Red Lines

When asked if Russia is ready "to use force to defend its red lines", Kiselev said "One hundred percent, because for Russia this is a question of life or death".
For the Kremlin, the "red lines" include NATO's expansion eastward and deployment of offensive weapons in countries neighbouring Russia, especially Ukraine.
After the BBC reporter suggested that Moscow is "dictating" to its neighbours by insisting that former Soviet republics “can't have anything to do with NATO", Kiselev pointed to the "historical reality".

"Countries are either lucky or they're unlucky to be next to Russia. That's the historical reality. They can't change that. It's the same as Mexico. It's either lucky or not to be close to America… It would be good to harmonise our interests and not put Russia in a position where missiles could reach us in four minutes", Kiselev said.

'Comparable Threat'

In the event of NATO failing to reach a consensus with Russia, Moscow is ready to "create a comparable, analogous threat by deploying its weapons close to decision-making centres", he noted.

"But we are suggesting a way of avoiding this, of not creating threats. Otherwise, everyone will be turned into radioactive ash", Kiselev said.

A Soviet SS-20 intermediate range missile launcher as envisioned in a US Defence Intelligence Agency report in the 1980s. - Sputnik International, 1920, 10.12.2021
Moscow Says It's Offering US, NATO Alternative to New Cuban Missile Crisis-Style Scenario

Security Proposals

On Friday, the Russian Foreign Ministry published draft agreements with the United States and NATO, where, among other things, mutual guarantees of EU security are stipulated. For example, the documents entail non-deployment of intermediate- and short-range missiles within the limits of reach of each side and NATO's commitment not to expand eastward, which includes the non-accession of former Soviet republics.
Another provision of the draft agreements obligates NATO to present guarantees of non-expansion to the territory of Ukraine specifically. If NATO and the US do not respond to Russia's security requirements, it might lead to a new round of confrontation, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told Sputnik.
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