NATO boss warns of potential war with Russia
The Ukraine conflict could erupt into a full-fledged war between Russia and NATO, the military bloc’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said. He also claimed that NATO has been focused on avoiding a new global conflict.
“I fear that the war in Ukraine will spiral out of control and become a major war between NATO and Russia,” Stoltenberg told Norwegian broadcaster NRK on Friday, adding that “if things go wrong, they can go horribly wrong.”
“NATO’s most important task is to prevent a full-scale war in Europe, and that is something we work on every single day.”
The head of the US-led bloc however warned Russian President Vladimir Putin that NATO would defend its members. According to Article 5 of its founding treaty, an armed attack on one member state “shall be considered an attack against them all.” Stoltenberg said that Putin “knows that it’s one for all and all for one.”
After Russia launched its military operation in Ukraine in late February, NATO deployed 40,000 troops to its eastern flank, nearly ten times more than a year before. Moscow, meanwhile, considers NATO military sites close to its border as a national security threat and has warned that sending heavy weapons from the West to Kiev risks a direct confrontation between Russia and NATO.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said this month that the US and NATO were already “directly involved” in the conflict by supplying Ukraine with arms and training its soldiers.