Ukraine diplomat sees little chance of war, but local conflict possible

TOKYO, Jan 26 (Reuters) – Ukraine is keen to seek a diplomatic solution to current tensions with Russia, its ambassador to Japan Sergiy Korsunsky said on Wednesday, adding that he faced little chance of an all-out war see, although there could be minor conflicts.

Korsunsky warned that an attack on a country with more than a dozen nuclear reactors would have devastating regional effects on Europe.

“I think full-scale war is very, very, very difficult to expect, but we could see more local conflicts,” Korsunsky said at a news conference in the Japanese capital, Tokyo.

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“Coming down to military terms, let me tell you, we’re very well prepared, our army is very well prepared.”

Russia has deployed tens of thousands of troops along its borders with Ukraine, and Western states fear Moscow is planning a new attack on a country it invaded in 2014 to annex the Crimean peninsula.

US President Joe Biden said Tuesday he would consider personal sanctions against President Vladimir Putin if Russia invades Ukraine, as Western leaders ramped up military preparations and made plans to protect Europe from a potential energy supply shock. Continue reading

“If there is a war, it will be for the first time in human history, war against a country that has 15 nuclear reactors on its territory, that has 30,000 km of gas and oil pipelines full of gas and oil,” he said Korsunsky.

“If all this infrastructure is destroyed, there will be no Ukraine. But that’s just one episode. There is no longer Central Europe and Western Europe would probably also be affected.”

An accident at the Chernobyl reactor, located in what is now Ukraine, in 1986 ejected tons of nuclear waste into the atmosphere, spreading radioactivity across parts of the continent and causing a rise in cancer in the nearby region.

Russia’s Ambassador to Australia Alexey Pavlovsky said on Wednesday that Russia has no plans to invade Ukraine.

“We have no intention of invading at all,” Pavlovsky told Australian Broadcasting Corporation radio.

“Our troops on the border… These troops are not a threat, they are a warning. A warning to the rulers of Ukraine not to risk reckless military adventures,” he said.

“As for sanctions, I think by now everyone should understand that this is not the language to use when speaking to Russia. The sanctions just don’t work.”

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Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Additional Reporting Edited by Lidia Kelly in Melbourne; Edited by Clarence Fernandez and Michael Perry

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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