LONDON, Nov 13 (Reuters) – There is a greater risk of an accidental war breaking out between the West and Russia than at any time since the Cold War, as many of the traditional diplomatic tools are no longer available, said the military official of UK’s highest rank.
General Nick Carter, Chief of the Defense Staff, told Times Radio that there is an increased risk of tensions in the new era of a “multipolar world”, in which governments compete for different goals and agendas.
“I think we have to be careful that people don’t end up allowing the bellicose nature of some of our policies to end up in a position where escalation leads to miscalculation,” he said in an interview to air Sunday.
Tensions have risen in Eastern Europe in recent weeks after the European Union accused Belarus of airlifting thousands of immigrants to spark a humanitarian crisis on its border with EU member Poland, a dispute that threatens to attract Russia and NATO.
President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday that NATO’s unscheduled drills in the Black Sea posed a serious challenge to Moscow and that Russia had nothing to do with the crisis on Belarus’s border with the bloc.
“The character of the war has changed,” Carter said.
After the bipolar world of the Cold War and the unipolar world of American domination, diplomats now face a more complex multipolar world, he said, adding that “the traditional diplomatic tools and mechanisms” of the Cold War are gone. available.
“Without those tools and mechanisms, there is a greater risk that these escalations or this escalation could lead to miscalculation,” he said. “So I think that’s the real challenge we have to face.”
Britain said on Friday that a small team of British military personnel had been deployed to explore “engineering support” for Poland on its border with Belarus.
(Reporting by Kate Holton; editing by Mike Harrison, edited in Spanish by Gabriela Donoso)