JAKARTADAILY.ID - Russia claimed to have hit a dead-end in its pursuit to persuade the West to bar Ukraine from joining NATO, prompting Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau to say that Europe was closer to war than any time in the last 30 years.
The statement sneaks a stark insight even before the security meetings at the 57-nation Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Vienna before the week even ends.
Reuters reported on Thursday that Poland's foreign minister mentioned tensions are rising in Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia and Moldova - all countries with active or frozen conflicts in which Russia has been allegedly involved.
"It seems that the risk of war in the OSCE area is now greater than ever before in the last 30 years," he said, noting no breakthrough was achieved at the meeting. "For several weeks we have been faced with the prospect of a major military escalation in Eastern Europe."
Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told RTVI television that talks with the United States in Geneva on Monday and with NATO in Brussels on Wednesday resulted in a "dead-end or difference of approaches". The minister argued that he saw no reason to sit down again in the coming days just to re-start the same discussions.
"Russia is a peace-loving country. But we do not need peace at any cost. The need to obtain these legally formalized security guarantees for us is unconditional," added Russian Ambassador Alexander Lukashevich
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba responded that "the only way for the Russians to confirm their lack of intention to solve problems by force is to continue the discussion in the established formats, in particular in the OSCE."
U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman shared a similar opinion on Wednesday that if Russia walked away, it would show it was never serious about diplomacy in the first place.