Vladimir Putin could invade Europe within a year, NATO’s Volodymyr Zelensky warns
Leaders of NATO member countries, including the United States, applaud the decision to welcome Finland and Sweden to the alliance on Wednesday as a bulwark against Russian aggression in Europe.
But Russia could come to European countries beyond Ukraine anyway in about a year, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned on Wednesday.
“I can say what we need: we need security guarantees, and you need to find a place for Ukraine in the common security space. There will either be urgent aid for Ukraine, which is enough to win, or Russia’s postponed war with you,” Zelensky said, suggesting that if countries do not step up security aid to the Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin will pursue even more targets. . “Next year could be a worse situation [for] not only Ukraine, but also several other states, possibly members of the alliance…under fire from Russia.
“The question is – who’s next?” Zelensky said. “Moldova? Or the Baltic countries? Or Poland? The answer is: all.
European leaders have raised concerns about Putin’s interest in attacking other countries beyond Ukraine countless times since Russian forces invaded Ukraine in February. Part of Sweden’s and Finland’s interest in joining NATO is to protect themselves against an unprovoked Russian invasion of their countries. According to the thought, if Russia attacks one member of the alliance, NATO’s fundamental collective defense provision, Article V, could be triggered, and an attack on one can be treated as an attack on all. .
Russian propagandists have also speculated that Putin’s next targets will go beyond Ukraine and could include Britain, the United States and Poland. Others predicted that Putin could go after Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
Russian forces are now waging battles over towns in eastern Ukraine, of course.
But as Russian forces have moved away from early plans to capture Ukraine’s capital Kyiv and steered the ongoing war towards fighting in eastern Ukraine, the Biden administration’s current assessment is that Putin still intends to take all of Ukraine, the US ambassador to the Organization said. for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Michael Carpenter, told The Daily Beast in an exclusive interview.
Zelensky confirmed on Wednesday that the Ukrainian government still believes Putin is planning to take over all of Ukraine.
“The Russian army… they don’t want to stop in Donbass or somewhere in southern Ukraine. He wants to absorb town after town, all of us, then all of Europe, which the Russian leadership sees as their property, not as independent states,” Zelensky said. “That’s Russia’s real goal.”
And while Putin has a strong distaste for what he sees as the westernization of Ukraine – and has used concerns about Ukraine’s interest in joining the alliance to justify his invasion of Ukraine – rather than to tear NATO apart, his war only brings NATO together, President Joe Biden stressed. Wednesday while attending the summit.
“You are going to have the NATOisation of Europe. And that is exactly what he did not want, but exactly what must be done to guarantee the security of Europe. Biden saidaccording to the AP.
Putin’s fears of NATO expansion thwarting his own imperialist goals could mean more trouble for Europe. Already, Russian officials are reacting negatively to the decision to let Finland and Sweden join the military alliance.
The decision to expand NATO is a “strictly destabilizing factor”, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said, according to Interfax.
NATO members and the Biden administration this week announced a series of measures they say will help prevent Russia from taking brash and disastrous action against other European nations.
The alliance announced on Tuesday that the Turkish President. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had dropped his opposition to Finland and Sweden joining NATO, despite earlier reservations that they would harbor individuals linked to groups Turkey considers terrorists.
U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin briefed Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov on Wednesday on U.S. military aid to the country, which has increased in recent days by $450 million the equivalent of several rocket launchers and artillery ammunition. The United States also announced on Wednesday that it would increase some of its military presence in Europe in an attempt to bolster security in the region.
The Biden administration will permanently station an army garrison headquarters and field support battalion in Poland – which will be the first permanent US forces on NATO’s eastern flank – adding a combat team from the rotational brigade in Romania and reinforcing rotational deployments in the Baltic region. The Pentagon will also deploy more air defense to Germany and Italy, deploy two additional F-35 squadrons to the UK and station two more destroyers in Spain.
“Today, I am announcing that the United States will strengthen our force posture in Europe and respond to the changing security environment while strengthening our collective security,” Biden said.