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26 May, 2024 15:55

European leader warns world ‘heading for disaster’

The Ukrainian conflict could spiral into a global war that would be a “greater tragedy than World War II,” Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic warns
European leader warns world ‘heading for disaster’

There is little time left to conclude the Ukraine conflict, which risks escalating out of control and inciting a global war, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has warned.

Speaking on Friday to the broadcaster Prva Srpska Televizija, Vucic claimed the world is standing on the brink of an all-out global conflict, and it is likely already too late to avoid it. 

“I am afraid that there is little time left for the war in Ukraine to be stopped. I hope it's still possible, but I’m afraid it’s actually not. I’m afraid that the train has already left the station, started moving, and no one will stop it,” he said.

In my opinion, things will get worse and worse, and it may happen that we will have a greater tragedy than World War II. I’m afraid we are heading towards a great world conflict, and few want to stop it.

Explaining his doomsday prediction, the Serbian leader said the conflict is being pushed by the global military industry, war profiteers who are interested in expanding and prolonging it rather than seeking a resolution.

“When the war machine starts to heat up, then there is a military lobby and a military industry lobby who want it to intensify, and then there will be no more [peace] effort, it is difficult to stop,” Vucic said.

The president also urged “someone” to do something “real” to stop the hostilities instead of “just shifting the blame to the other side.” He warned that “if this doesn’t happen, I’m afraid we’re headed for disaster.”

While Russia and Ukraine sought to reach a peace deal early on during the ongoing conflict, then-UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was successful in pressuring Kiev not to do so, suggesting it should just keep fighting instead of striking any agreements with Moscow. While Johnson has denied such allegations, his involvement was confirmed by senior Ukrainian officials later on.

While Moscow has repeatedly expressed a readiness to negotiate, Kiev has refused; Ukraine’s Vladimir Zelensky has explicitly banned himself from entering any talks. The prospects of somehow restarting negotiations have now apparently become even slimmer since Zelensky’s presidential tenure expired.

Earlier this week, Russian President Vladimir Putin reiterated that Moscow’s readiness to engage in meaningful negotiations must be based on “common sense” and an acknowledgement of “realties on the ground.”