Ukrainian diplomat sees little chance of war, but local conflict is possible

TOKYO, Jan 26 (Reuters) – Ukraine is committed to seeking a diplomatic solution to the ongoing tension with Russia, its ambassador to Japan Sergiy Korsunsky said on Wednesday, adding he saw little chance of a total war, although there may be some smaller conflicts.

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

“I believe it is very, very, very difficult to expect a full-scale war, but we could see more localized conflicts,” Korsunsky told a news conference in the Japanese capital Tokyo. .

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“If we come to military terms, let me tell you, we are fully prepared, our army is very well prepared.”

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

US President Joe Biden said on Tuesday he would consider personal sanctions against President Vladimir Putin if Russia invades Ukraine, as Western leaders step up military preparations and draw up plans to protect Europe from a possible energy shock. Read more

“If war is to occur, it will be the first in the history of mankind, a war against a country which has 15 nuclear reactors on its territory, which has 30,000 km of gas and oil pipelines, filled with gas and oil,” says Korsunsky.

“If all this infrastructure is destroyed, there is no more Ukraine. But that is only a consequence. There is no more Central Europe and probably Western Europe would also be affected. .”

An accident at the Chernobyl reactor, located in what is now Ukraine, released tons of nuclear waste into the atmosphere in 1986, spreading radioactivity across swathes of the continent and causing a spike in cancers in the nearest region.

Russian Ambassador to Australia Alexey Pavlovsky said 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 Ukrainian leadership not to attempt any reckless military adventure,” he said.

“As far as sanctions are concerned, I think everyone should now understand that this is not the language to be used when talking to Russia. Sanctions just don’t work.”

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

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