AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE
MOSCOW: Russia cautioned Western powers today against launching “hasty” wars that could lead to the rise of radical Islamist factions and even result in regional nuclear wars.
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev told a legal forum ahead of his visit to the G8 summit as Russia’s official representative at Camp David that Moscow noted numerous examples of powers infringing on the sovereignty of other states.
The comments were a clear reference to Russia’s current standoff with the West over Syria and its earlier condemnation of NATO’s air strikes against Libya.
“The consequence of hasty military operations in foreign states usually means that radicals come to power,” Russia’s former president told a televised forum in Russia’s second city of Saint Petersburg. “And sometimes these actions — which undermine state sovereignty — could result in a fully-fledged regional war. And even — although I do not want to scare anyone — the use of a nuclear weapon.”
The Saint Petersburg event included speeches by US Attorney General Eric Holder and other top international dignitaries and legal scholars.
Medvedev will stand in for President Vladimir Putin — elected to a third term after serving four years as premier — at talks starting tomorrow after the Russian leader pulled out citing the need to complete his new government.
Officials in both Moscow and Washington have denied that Putin was in fact delivering a snub meant to punish the White House for its criticism of Russia’s record on human rights.