Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Thursday cautioned Western nations against pursuing military action in unidentified states, which he said could escalate to conflict involving nuclear weapons, Reuters reported (see GSN, May 14).
"Hasty military operations in foreign states usually bring radicals to power," the Russian government quoted Medvedev as saying at a St. Petersburg forum. "At some point such actions which undermine state sovereignty may lead to a full-scale regional war, even, although I do not want to frighten anyone, with the use of nuclear weapons. Everyone should bear this in mind."
Moscow has urged against NATO or U.S. military involvement in Syria. Widespread public protests and insurgent attacks against the long-ruling Assad regime have wracked the Arab country for more than a year, resulting in the deaths of thousands of civilians and soldiers.
Russia has declared it is not required to defend Syria from an assault by a foreign force and envoys and issue experts do not believe the Kremlin would use military force to stop a Western strike on Iran.
The Kremlin has also urged against any pre-emptive strike on Iran's atomic facilities. The United States and others suspect Tehran of seeking the capability to build a nuclear weapon; the Iranian government insists its atomic development program is nonmilitary in nature.