Europe at greatest risk of war in 30 years, Poland warns

A Ukrainian navy sailor is seen on board an armoured gunboat during a short voyage near a base of the Ukrainian Naval Forces in the Azov Sea port of Berdyansk, Ukraine January 12, 2022. REUTERS/Anastasia Vlasova

VIENNA, Jan 13 (Reuters) – Europe is nearer war than it has been in 30 years, Poland’s foreign minister warned during the third round of diplomacy this week aimed at defusing tensions over Russia’s demand that Ukraine never be allowed to join NATO.

Addressing envoys from the 57 members of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Zbigniew Rau did not name Russia, but listed a string of conflicts in which Moscow’s involvement has been alleged.

“For several weeks we have been faced with the prospect of a major military escalation in Eastern Europe.”

Poland is among the NATO members that are most hawkish in confronting what it sees as Russia’s revisionist ambitions in Eastern Europe.

Russia has deployed more than 100,000 troops near its borders with Ukraine, which is already battling Moscow-backed separatists in its east. Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimea region in 2014.

The Kremlin on Thursday¬†gave¬†a bleak assessment of Russia’s security talks with the United States and NATO this week, describing them as “unsuccessful” and saying there was disagreement on fundamental issues.

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