The deployment of US-led NATO forces around Russia are provocations that can “quickly escalate” to an all-out nuclear conflict, an analyst tells Press TV. “Russia and the United States and NATO are nuclear powers. If a war starts even on a conventional or a skirmish level, this can quickly escalate to nuclear war and then all humanity is at stake,” William Jones, from the Executive Intelligence Review news magazine, said in an interview. He added that the nuclear war will not be beneficial to anybody “but there are a lot of people, who will push it anyhow thinking that somehow they can win that war.” Jones warned of the “ominous” consequences of the US-led NATO’s plans to beef up its military forces closer to Russia, saying it would provoke the Russians to react. The analyst warned that NATO looks to be “drawing the borders of the old Cold War pretty steadily and [is] pushing them further east.” He cast doubt on NATO’s declared intention to bring stability back to crisis-stricken Ukraine, saying the Russian government fears that the alliance may have other intentions, including to bring Ukraine into its own orbit. “And I think that is a trip wire. That is a trip wire to war if measures are taken which could effectively pull Ukraine out of all relations, all effective relationships with Russia, then I think that becomes close to a casus belli,” Jones said.
The commentator’s remarks came after reports said that Washington plans to deploy troops to Poland and Estonia to conduct drills with its allies. The US is to send 150 troops to participate in nearly two weeks of military exercises. The planned exercises by the US are part of a broader NATO plan to expand its presence in East Europe. Over the past two months, the US has beefed up its presence in East Europe as Ukraine grapples with spiraling crisis. Tensions between the Western powers and Moscow heightened after Crimea declared independence from Ukraine and formally applied to become part of the Russian Federation following a referendum on March 16, in which nearly 97 percent of voters in Crimea said yes to reunion with Russia. Russia said on Saturday that NATO’s further enlargement will change European security structure, posing a serious threat to Moscow. Relations between Russia and NATO have been at their worst since Crimea’s reunification with Russia. Press TV