There is a “high risk” that the United States and its NATO allies will engage in a nuclear standoff with Russia over the Ukraine crisis, an anti-war activist has said.
Experts have warned of a World War 3 type scenario recently as tensions between Russia and the west are at boiling point, matching the paranoid atmosphere felt during the Cold War era.
“The threat posed by the post-Cold War revival and the expansion of the NATO cannot be overestimated,” said Rick Rozoff, member of Stop NATO International.
Speaking with Iranian news agency, Press TV, he said “It has the potential quite literally to lead our planet and its people towards the worst catastrophe in history, which would be a nuclear war”.
Over 2,000 troops are taking part in the Noble Jump 2 war games, the first exercise of NATO’s new rapid response force intended to warn Russia of its readiness and reassure east European NATO members who fear Moscow’s actions in Ukraine.
Rozoff made the comments after he was asked about Thursday’s war games in Poland involving 2,100 soldiers from nine NATO states.
US, Belgian, Czech, Dutch, German, Hungarian, Lithuanian, Norwegian and Polish troops have been preparing since last week for this full-scale exercise.
The military alliance has also mounted a series of military drills on its eastern borders to counter Russia’s increased military presence in the Baltic Sea.
This comes as the Pentagon is considering deploying heavy weaponry, tanks and other vehicles for as many as 5,000 American troops in eastern European countries bordering Russia, US officials said last week.
“The US has managed through the mechanism of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to establish permanent military installations, in many cases over air bases to be used for strategic strikes against Russia,” Rozoff said.
Ties between Washington and Moscow have reached an all-time low over the crisis in Ukraine, which began after pro-Western forces ousted the country’s president, Viktor Yanukovych, in February 2014.
The US accuses Russia of destabilizing Ukraine by supporting pro-Russia forces in the eastern regions. The Kremlin, however, denies the allegations.