NATO aid to Ukraine brings World War 3 closer: former Russian president

Dmitry Medvedev, deputy secretary of the powerful Security Council and former Russian president, declared late on Tuesday that increased military aid to Ukraine by the NATO alliance brings World War III closer. Commenting on the first day of the US-led alliance summit in Lithuania, in which several countries pledged more weapons and financial support, Medvedev said the aid would not deter Russia from achieving its goals in Ukraine.

“The West, completely crazy, could not think of anything else… In fact, it is a dead end. World War III is getting closer,” Medvedev wrote on the Telegram messaging application. “What does all this mean for us? Everything is self-evident. The special military operation will continue with the same objectives.”

Russia describes its actions in Ukraine as a “special military operation”, while kyiv and its allies say that Moscow is waging an unprovoked war to seize land and dominate his neighbor. The West says it wants to help Ukraine win the war, and Western powers have already supplied large quantities of modern weapons and ammunition to kyiv.

Medvedev, who presented himself as a liberal modernizer when he was president between 2008 and 2012, now presents himself as a fierce anti-Western hawk for the Kremlin. Diplomats say his opinions give an idea of ​​what is thought in the upper echelons of the Kremlin elite. On Tuesday he also advocated the use of the “inhumane weapon” What are cluster munitions? after what he said were reports that Ukraine was already using them.

The United States announced that it would supply kyiv cluster munitions, which typically release large numbers of small bomblets over a wide area and are banned in many countries. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu stated that Moscow would be forced to use “similar” weapons if the United States supplied Ukraine with cluster bombs.

NATO allies offer security guarantees to Ukraine

United States, United Kingdom and their global allies prepare to unveil new security guarantees for Ukraine at NATO summit on Wednesday, designed to protect the country from further attacks as kyiv struggles to join the alliance.

The prospect of long-term protection by members of the world’s most powerful military bloc comes a day after President Volodymyr Zelensky dismissed as “absurd” NATO’s refusal to offer an invitation or timetable for the Ukraine’s entry into the alliance.

Ukraine has been pushing for rapid entry into NATO while fighting against a Russian invasion unleashed in February 2022 that has caused tens of thousands of deaths and displaced millions. Instead, a statement by the most industrialized G7 countries “will set out how the allies will support Ukraine in the coming years to end the war and deter and respond to any future attacks,” a British government statement said.

In practice, this would translate into bilateral agreements with kyiv on long-term military and financial aid to keep the Ukrainian army and economy running. Swallowing his disappointment at the lack of an accession timetable, Zelensky said on Wednesday that the results of the Vilnius summit had been generally good and welcomed the flurry of announcements of new military aid from allies.

However, he insisted on the need for more aid and said he would raise Ukraine’s need for long-range weapons in a meeting with US President Joe Biden during the summit.

“We can state that the results of the summit are good, but if there was an invitation, they would be ideal,” Zelensky said.

White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Biden would be frank with Zelensky on the rationale for the NATO decision about accession.

“He knows that President Zelensky has strong opinions and he is not afraid to express them. And he, President Biden, is also very direct and honest and forthright with President Zelensky,” Sullivan told MSNBC.

NATO has carefully avoided expanding any firm military commitment to Ukraine, concerned about the risk of bringing it closer to all-out war with Russia. Ukraine is deeply wary of any less binding security “guarantee”, given that the Russian invasion has already trampled on the so-called Budapest Memorandumwhereby international powers pledged to maintain the country’s security in exchange for kyiv giving up its Soviet-era nuclear weapons.

Speaking with Zelensky, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Ukraine is closer to the alliance than ever before and ignored new Russian warnings about the consequences of supporting Ukraine.

“Ukraine has the right to choose its own path,” Stoltenberg said, adding: “It is not up to Moscow to decide.” He also indicated that security guarantees for Ukraine have to be “credible” to deter Russia from future attacks. “Of course the guarantees, the documents, the council meetings are important, but the most urgent task now is to guarantee sufficient weapons for Ukrainian President Zelensky and his armed forces.”

For his part, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak stated that the security agreements for Ukraine are not intended to replace full NATO membership.

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