15 Dec 2018 14:00

Russia's on the verge of war with Ukraine - Yavlinsky

MOSCOW. Dec 15 (Interfax) - The incident in the Kerch Strait poses a danger of an open war between Russia and Ukraine, Grigory Yavlinsky, the chairman of the Yabloko party's federal political committee, said.

"For the first time in the 25 years of the history of our party, I am talking not about criticism of the economy, elements of the foreign policy, corruption or something like that. Those issues are very important, but they are pushed back by an actual threat of war. Not a small, hybrid one, but a big and real war," Yavlinsky said at a meeting of the party's federal council on Saturday.

The incident in the Kerch Strait brought Russia "close to an open war, in particular, with Ukraine," he said.

"I would like to say that it is a crime, and not only a crime in itself, but is also extremely contrary to Russia's national interests," the politician said.

This situation is rooted in the Russian authorities' desire to bring Kyiv under control and restrict its sovereignty, he said.

"It feels like an exacerbation of military tensions and an armed clash between Russia and Ukraine are highly possible in late December. It can really happen in late December," Yavlinsky said.

Russia's participation in the Syrian conflict also brings it closer to a war, he said, adding that "Syria is a deadlock and a trap."

In addition, the issue of the collapse of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty has been raised and it may result in the appearance of missiles in the Baltic states, Georgia and Ukraine and destroy Russia's military doctrine, Yavlinsky said.

"It means that the current policy resulted in tremendous tensions, resulted in distrust of Russia, ended the strategic dialogue and caused most serious disagreements on global and regional issues," he said.

The militant rhetoric is growing lighter and the possibility of local nuclear conflict is seriously discussed in the country, Yavlinsky said.

"All of that resembles the situation before the World War I," the Yabloko leader said.