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27 May, 2024 20:27

NATO boss ‘a dangerous man’ – Italian deputy PM

Matteo Salvini has slammed Jens Stoltenberg’s call to allow Ukraine use Western weapons to attack sites in Russia
NATO boss ‘a dangerous man’ – Italian deputy PM

Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini has called NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg a “dangerous gentleman” for his proposal to allow Kiev to strike targets in Russia with Western weapons. Such a move could lead to World War III, Salvini has warned.

The NATO chief has urged western weapons donors to allow them attack targets on Russian soil. However the arms are reportedly provided on the condition that they would not be used outside Russian territory claimed by Kiev. The stipulation is intended to prevent further escalation of the conflict.

In an interview with The Economist last week, Stoltenberg claimed it is time for the US-led military bloc’s allies to reconsider all the restrictions.

The US-led military bloc chief reiterated his stance on Monday during a press conference at the 2024 Spring Session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in Sofia, Bulgaria, comments which Salvini dismisse as “dangerous and reckless.”

“This gentleman is dangerous because the talking about a third world war, about Western weapons capable of striking and killing inside Russia, seems to me very, very dangerous and reckless,” he told reporters on Monday.

Senior Italian officials, including Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, have rejected Stoltenberg’s public calls for a policy change. The Italian PM has advised “greater caution.”

On Sunday, Salvini told an election rally that Stoltenberg “cannot speak on behalf of the Italian people.”

“NATO cannot force us to kill in Russia, nor can anyone force us to send Italian soldiers to fight or die in Ukraine,” Salvini said, arguing that Rome is sending Kiev weapons only to “defend itself,” not to “fight, strike and kill outside its territory.”

Western leaders, most notably French President Emmanuel Macron, have been making increasingly bold statements about attacks on Russian territory. However, according to Moscow, the claims of existing restrictions on the use of Western munitions are false and designed to maintain an illusion that the West is not part of the conflict.

The West is already “at war” with Russia and the weaponry it supplies to Ukraine is being actively used to strike deep inside the country, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has insisted.