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War unlikely, local violence probable: Ukrainian diplomat

Ukraine's ambassador to Japan Sergiy Korsunsky walks past a map showing Russia and Ukraine as he arrives at his news conference venue in Tokyo, Japan, January 26, 2022. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

Sergiy Korsunsky, Ukraine’s ambassador to Japan, said on Wednesday that his country is committed to finding a diplomatic solution to the current tensions with Russia, adding that he sees little prospect of a full-fledged war, though there may be lesser skirmishes.

The news: An attack on a country with more than a dozen nuclear reactors, according to Korsunsky, would have a disastrous regional impact on Europe.

  • Russia has amassed tens of thousands of troops on its Ukrainian border, raising fears that Moscow is contemplating another assault on the country it invaded in 2014 to take the Crimean Peninsula.
Ukraine’s ambassador to Japan Sergiy Korsunsky wearing a mask bearing its flag ,amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, attends a news conference in Tokyo, Japan, January 26, 2022. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

What they’re saying: As Western countries stepped up military preparations and set measures to insulate Europe from a potential energy supply shock, US President Joe Biden said on Tuesday that if Russia invades Ukraine, he would consider personal penalties against President Vladimir Putin.

  • “If war is going to happen, that will be the first ever in the history of mankind, war against a country which has on its territory 15 nuclear reactors, which has 30,000 km of gas and oil pipelines, full with gas and oil,” said Korsunsky.
  • “If all these infrastructure is destroyed, there is no more Ukraine. But this is just one consequence. There is no more central Europe and probably western Europe would be affected, too.”

Alexey Pavlovsky, Russia’s ambassador to Australia, stated on Wednesday that Russia had no plans to invade Ukraine.

  • “We don’t intend to invade 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 Ukraine’s rulers not to attempt any reckless military adventure,” he said.
  • “As to the sanctions, I think that by now everybody should understand that it is not the language which should be used when talking to Russia. The sanctions just don’t work.”
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