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12 Jul, 2023 01:54

Military aid to Ukraine makes World War III more likely – ex-Russian president

Dmitry Medvedev has warned that new NATO assistance pledges for Kiev are raising the risk of a wider conflict
Military aid to Ukraine makes World War III more likely – ex-Russian president

The continuing Western military aid to Kiev only increases the risk of escalating the standoff with Russia, edging the world closer to a global war, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has warned after NATO members gathered for a summit in Vilnius, Lithuania on Tuesday. 

In a post on his Telegram channel, Medvedev blasted the new defense packages announced by Ukraine’s supporters. 

“The completely crazed West could not come up with anything else,” Medvedev, who is currently the deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, wrote. “In fact, it is a dead end. World War III is getting closer.” He added that the aid decisions were “highly predictable, to the point of idiocy.”

“What does it all mean to us? Everything is obvious. The special military operation will be continued, with the goals remaining the same,” Medvedev wrote, referring to the military action launched by Russia in Ukraine in February 2022.

Medvedev’s comments came as experts on both sides have been voicing concerns that current tensions between Russia and the West could lead to a new global war and even trigger the use of nuclear weapons. 

Although Ukraine was denied an immediate NATO membership out of fear that it would spiral into an open war between Russia and the US-led alliance, Kiev’s major supporters pledged additional aid. 

Last week, US President Joe Biden authorized the transfer of cluster munitions to Ukraine, despite the White House having previously condemned the use of such weapons as war crimes. France plans to provide Kiev with SCALP long-range cruise missiles, while Germany pledged 25 additional Leopard 1 A5 main battle tanks and 40 Marder armored vehicles, as well as two US-made Patriot air defense batteries.

Russian officials have repeatedly warned that shipments of heavy weapons and other military aid to Ukraine make NATO members de facto direct participants in Moscow’s conflict with Kiev. Moscow also insisted that Western support would not change the course of the fighting and not derail the Russian forces from achieving their goals on the battlefield.