‘A major war’ between Russia and the West is possible, warns NATO chief

A full-fledged “major war” between Russia and the West could eventually break out over Ukraine, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warned on Friday.

Commenting on the state of play ten months after Russia staged a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said it was a “fatal moment for Europe” and that things could “go horribly wrong” and spill over from a proxy to a direct conflict between Russia and the NATO alliance.

Speaking to Norwegian state broadcaster NRK, Stoltenberg said: “I fear the war in Ukraine is spiraling out of control and turning into a major war between NATO and Russia.”

The former Norwegian prime minister said he was “confident” that such an eventuality could be avoided, noting the strengthening of NATO forces in central Europe.

While Ukraine is not a member of the alliance and therefore unprotected, Stoltenberg continued:[Vladimir Putin] knows that it is one for all, and all for one. NATO’s most important task is to prevent full-scale war in Europe, and this is something we work on every day.

On possible peace negotiations, Stoltenberg said, “At some point, conversations are pointless. Putin had decided to use force and power. What helps is to support Ukraine militarily. Only a strong Ukraine leads to peace.

To date, the conflict has remained at the level of a proxy war between the West and Russia. the European Union, the United Kingdom and the United States providing Ukraine with billions in weapons, military equipment, vehicles and money.

Both the Americans and the British also undertook the training of Ukrainian soldiers to educate them on how to use the advanced weaponry supplied to Kyiv (kyiv).

Washington also recently admitted to deploying military personnel to Ukraine itself, raising the possibility of US and Russian forces coming into contact with each other.

Despite the growing energy crisis in Europe, the potential use of nuclear weapons and the loss of life in Ukraine, there has apparently been little appetite for negotiations with Moscow from the state-led alliance. US or even EU, with the notable exception of Hungary. Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

However, over the past week there has been some movement in Berlin and Paris, with Chancellor Olaf Scholz and President Emmanuel Macron signaling a potential framework for peace talks.

President Macron said that in any settlement, the West must recognize the need for security guarantees from Russia, likely suggesting preventing Ukraine from joining NATO, which would allow America to station missiles at the gates of Russia. Chancellor Scholz, meanwhile, said Europe should consider reviving the peace agreements that existed during the Cold War.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, for his part, said any negotiations would be difficult given that confidence in the West in Moscow is currently “almost zero”.

The Russian leader cited a recent interview given by former German Chancellor Angela Merkel, in which she seemed to imply that the motivation behind the 2014 Minsk agreement was simply to give Ukraine ‘time’ to build up its military .

“Their objective was only to load Ukraine with weapons and prepare it for hostilities. We see that. Honestly, maybe we realized it too late, and maybe we should have started all this earlier,” Putin said in response to Merkel’s interview on Friday.

Although Putin said he did not believe at the time that Ukraine would abide by the terms of the 2014 agreement, he added: “I thought the other participants in this process were honest. Turns out they were cheating on us too.

“At the end of the day there will have to be talks. We are ready for them, I have said that many times. But it makes us think, who we are dealing with.

Ultimately, the Russian president said he thought the current conflict could be a “long process”, saying: “The special military operation is going fast, everything is stable, there are no questions or problems with it today”.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka


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