After a legion of western nations announced this week that they would expel Russian diplomats in solidarity with the UK, one Russian ambassador warned during an impromptu unscripted speech that, by hastily blaming Moscow for the poisoning of a former Russian spy at a shopping center in Salisbury, the West was risking a return to the Cold War. A second Russian ambassador took the warning a step further, and claimed the West has inadvertently risked a "hot war" with Russia.
So far, 23 countries have expelled over 130 Russian diplomats since the UK pointed the finger at Russia, accusing it of organizing an assassination plot that involved poisoning former Russian spy Sergei Skripal with a Soviet-era nerve agent called Novichok.
The UK demanded that Russia explain how the nerve agent came to be used in the attack, if it wasn't ordered by senior officials in the Russian government, per Newsweek.
Russia responded by demanding a sample of the chemical used, and offered to assist the UK in its investigation, but has been rebuffed. Meanwhile, the UK media reports say Skripal and his daughter Yulia Skripal may never fully recover from the attack.
Amid the escalating noise, Russia's ambassador to Australia said on Wednesday that the world will enter into a "Cold War situation" should the West continue its "biased" attacks on Russia, according to Reuters.
"The West must understand that the anti-Russian campaign has no future," Russian Ambassador Grigory Logvinov told reporters in Canberra.
"If it continues, we will be deeply in a Cold War situation."
Australia said Tuesday it would expel two Russian diplomats, inspiring Logvinov to make his address warning of the dangers of deteriorating relations between Russia and its partners. So far, countries have at least stopped short of adding to the sanctions against Russia that were imposed following the annexation of Crimea.
He added that Russia has yet to decide on its response, hinting that the country could be planning retaliation beyond the proportional expulsions of diplomats.
"I said we have no evidence. The British stubbornly denied giving any evidence. They have denied following the provisions and protocol of the Convention on Prohibition of Chemical Weapons," he said.
Lyudmila Vorobieva, Russia's ambassador to Indonesia, said the situation was "absolutely absurd." Except that, rather than a "Cold War", Vorobieva said the confrontation could lead to an "ice war" - apparently referring to a full-scale military conflict between Russia and the West.
"What is worse than an ice war. It's a hot war."
She added that a conflict of that magnitude would be "fatal for our planet" given the stockpiles of nuclear weapons held by both sides. “Do we want that? Well, I can tell you from Russia’s side definitely we don’t want that because if we take into account the number of nuclear weapons accumulated by the country - this kind of development would be fatal for our planet.”