Russian officials warn of WW3 if Ukraine joins NATO

LONDON, Oct 13 (Reuters) – The conflict in Ukraine is certain to escalate into World War III if Ukraine is accepted into the U.S.-led NATO military alliance, a Russian Security Council official was quoted as saying on Thursday.

This comes just hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin officially announced the annexation of up to 18 percent of Ukraine’s territory on September 9. On January 30, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy announced a surprise application to join NATO’s fast track.

Full NATO membership is far from Ukraine, as all 30 members of the alliance must agree.

Sign up now for free and unlimited access to

“Kyiv is well aware that such a step would mean a sure escalation into World War III,” TASS quoted Alexander Venediktov, deputy secretary-general of the Russian Security Council, as saying.

Venediktov, a powerful Putin ally and deputy to Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev, said he viewed Ukraine’s application as propaganda because the West knew about Ukraine’s NATO membership. as a result of.

“NATO members themselves understand the suicidal nature of this step,” he said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly criticized the United States for its push for NATO’s eastward expansion, especially its wooing of former Soviet republics such as Ukraine and Georgia, which Russia sees as part of its sphere of influence.

Putin was not bluffing when he warned the West on September 21 that he would be prepared to use nuclear weapons to defend Russia from “nuclear blackmail” by major Western powers.

US President Joe Biden has said the world faces the greatest risk of a nuclear apocalypse since the Cuban missile crisis in 1962. NATO will hold its annual nuclear readiness exercise called “Resolute Noon” next week.

Russia and the United States are by far the largest nuclear powers: they control about 90 percent of the world’s nuclear warheads.

Zelensky’s call for a preventive strike against Russia is dangerous, Venediktov said, warning that a nuclear war would have catastrophic consequences for the world.

“We have to remember: a nuclear conflict absolutely affects the entire world – not only Russia and the Western collective, but every country on the planet,” Venediktov said. “The consequences would be catastrophic for all of humanity.”

Sign up now for free and unlimited access to

Reporting by Lidia Kelly and Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Robert Birsel and Toby Chopra

Our Standard: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Source link