Russia: Nuclear Dangers and Risks of Escalation
The global security situation is extremely tense. Disputes are hardening and the global conflict between liberal democracies and authoritarian systems is intensifying. The war in Ukraine is not just a war between two former Soviet republics, but a systemic conflict. The assessment of the risks of escalation is a matter of debate. UN Secretary-General António Guterres tells the UN General Assembly in New York: "I fear the world is not sleepwalking into a major war - I fear it is doing so with its eyes wide open". In a speech to both chambers of the Russian parliament on 21 February 2023, Vladimir Putin did fall short of the expectations of Russian hardliners calling for an even more brutal war in Ukraine, not shying away from calls for the use of tactical nuclear weapons. However, Putin announced the unilateral freezing of the "New Start" nuclear disarmament treaty.