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Former Russian Foreign Minister Warns, Nuclear Conflict Has Never Been Closer

Jan. 26, 2015 (EIRNS)—Igor Ivanov, Russia’s Foreign Minister from 1998-2004 and chair of the Russian International Affairs Council, warned in a Moscow Times article today that the Ukraine crisis is more dangerous than any crisis during the Cold War, urging political leaders to act to prevent a nuclear conflict.

"The threat of a nuclear conflict is higher today than it was during the Cold War. In the absence of a political dialogue, with mutual mistrust reaching historical highs, the probability of unintended accidents, including those involving nuclear weapons, is getting more and more real," Ivanov wrote.

Ivanov’s chilling statement is the latest in a series of such warnings from leading figures of the trans-Atlantic community who have been collaborating unofficially over recent years to head off confrontation. For example, in 2012-2013, Ivanov was co-chair of the so-called "Track II dialogue" around "Building Mutual Security in the Euro-Atlantic Region," along with British Lord Des Browne, German diplomat and former Ambassador to the U.S. Wolfgang Ischinger, and former U.S. Sen. Sam Nunn. On Jan. 25, just one day before Ivanov’s article, Nunn issued his own warning of the danger of nuclear conflict.

Ivanov argues that it is rhetoric to say that a new Cold War has begun. He elaborated:

"There can be no repeat of the Cold War, because of the changes in the world which do not fit the old paradigm. During the Cold War, despite its dangers, "international relations were confined by a certain order established after the end of World War II. All the shortcomings and liabilities of this order notwithstanding, it allowed humankind to avoid a new global disaster....

"Today we live in a world where the old order has ceased to exist, and a new one that would suit all the major players has not yet been established. And this is what makes our times so different from the Cold War....

"Formally, we all subscribe to the established norms of international law. However, as the Ukraine crisis has demonstrated once again, the old institutions are dramatically losing their efficiency, and international law is becoming a victim of political interests."

The presentiments of many that war could come in 2015 should "urge responsible politicians all over the world to put aside their ambitions and mutual insults, in order to start a meaningful dialogue about the future world order that would allow all the nations to build their own futures. Otherwise, instead of a new Cold War, someday we could face a real, large-scale military conflict," Ivanov concluded.