On Sunday, President Vladimir Putin’s foreign minister pointed the finger at Joe Biden about Ukraine, saying he hoped the US president would have the wisdom to face a global confrontation similar to the Cuban Missile Crisis. from 1962.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has sparked the biggest showdown between Moscow and the West since the Cuba Crisis, when the Soviet Union and the United States are seen as the closest to nuclear war.
US President John F. Kennedy discovered that Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev had deployed nuclear missiles on Cuba after the failed Bay of Pigs invasion – a US-backed attempt by Cuban exiles to overthrow the communist regime that was thwarted by Cuba – and the US deployment of missiles in Italy and Turkey.
In an interview for a Russian state television documentary on the missile crisis, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said there were ‘similarities’ to 1962, largely because Russia was now under threat by Western arms in Ukraine.
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“I hope that in the current situation, President Joe Biden will have more opportunities to understand who is giving orders and how,” Lavrov said with a slight smile. “This situation is very worrying.”
“The difference is that in the distant 1962, Khrushchev and Kennedy found the strength to show responsibility and wisdom, and now we don’t see such preparation from Washington and its satellites,” Lavrov said.
White House officials did not immediately respond to an out-of-hours request for comment.
On October 27, 1962, the world came close to nuclear war when a Soviet submarine captain wanted to launch a nuclear weapon after the US Navy dropped depth charges around the submarine.
Later that day, Kennedy secretly agreed to remove all missiles in Turkey in exchange for Khrushchev removing all missiles in Cuba. The crisis has been defused, even as it has become a symbol of the perils of superpower rivalry during the Cold War.
President Vladimir Putin cites the West’s rejection of Russian concerns about the security of post-Soviet Europe, and in particular the expansion of the NATO military alliance eastward, as one of the causes of the conflict.
The United States and its European allies say Russian concerns are overblown and cannot justify invading a former Soviet neighbor whose borders Moscow recognized after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Ukraine says it will fight until it has expelled every last Russian from its territory, portraying Russian great power diplomacy as a sham used to distract from a land grab imperial style which, according to Kyiv, is doomed to failure.
Asked what Russia should do now in the current crisis, Mr Lavrov replied: “The readiness of Russia, including President Vladimir Putin, for negotiations remains unchanged.”