A top Western military official has warned that there is a great risk of potential accidental war between the West and Russia.
Britain’s most senior military official said that tensions are higher than any time since the Cold War, and the two sides are lacking many traditional diplomatic tools. General Sir Nick Carter said in this new era of a “multipolar world,” governments compete for differing reasons and with differing agendas and objectives.
Carter said that countries’ leaders need to be careful so that escalation leads to miscalculation.
In Eastern Europe, tensions have been rising after the European Union accused Belarus of purposely trying to destabilize the West by forcing a humanitarian disaster on its border with Poland.
The EU has said Belarus is sending thousands of migrants to the border and encouraging even more to do the same. Western leaders blame Belarus for creating this migrant crisis as a retribution for sanctions over human rights abuses.
Belarus denies that any of this is the case. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has pointed fingers at the West for the border crossings and accused the countries of treating migrants poorly.
Thousands of people are now stranded in desperate conditions at the border, enduring harsh weather conditions, food shortages, and in need of medical attention.
The escalating situation threatens to draw in Russia and NATO.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said over the weekend that unscheduled NATO drills in the Black Sea were a challenge for Moscow, and responded to the situation in Belarus, claiming Russia has “absolutely nothing to do with” on its close ally’s border.
Carter said authoritarian rivals, most likely referring to Russia in particular, would be willing to use any tools at their disposal. He cited surging gas prices, proxy forces, cyber attacks, and migrants and refugees.
On Friday, the UK said a small team of military personnel had been deployed to Poland’s border in order to explore how best to support its ally country in the border catastrophe.