Ukraine joining Nato risks WW3…but West would smash Putin who made 75yr-old alliance stronger than EVER, ex-Sec Gen says

Ukraine joining Nato risks WW3…but West would smash Putin who made 75yr-old alliance stronger than EVER, ex-Sec Gen says
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PUTIN has made Nato stronger than ever – but Ukraine joining risks sparking all-out war, a former Nato Secretary General has warned.

On Nato‘s 75th birthday, Alessandro Minuto-Rizzo warned: “There’s always the danger of another world war.”

Reuters

Leopard 2 tank fires during Nato military drills in Latvia[/caption]

AFP

Norwegian troops train with Ukrainian soldiers to bolster their military capabilities[/caption]

Ian Whittaker

Nato forces training 80 miles from the Russian border[/caption]

Alessandro Minuto-Rizzo, former Deputy Secretary General of Nato
Rex

Since it emerged from the ashes of World War Two in 1949 with 12 members, Nato has bolstered its forces across eastern Europe and grown to 32 members after Finland and Sweden joined its ranks.

And Putin’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022 re-invigorated the alliance as it was forced to confront one the most serious conflicts in the West since its formation.

Nato countries are facing the huge challenge of making sure Ukraine – which is bidding to join – doesn’t lose its fight to push back Putin’s forces.

But Nato stands stronger with a GDP 20 times greater than Russia’s and 3.2million military personnel – compared to Russia’s 1.2million.

In total, the alliance also has four times as many tanks, three times as many fighter aircrafts and 16 aircraft carriers compared to Putin’s one.

And Nato members have thrown their weight behind Kyiv by sending weapons worth tens of billions of dollars.

Putin said he declared war on Ukraine – in part – because Nato was expanding closer to Russia’s borders.

But Minuto-Rizzo – Nato’s Deputy Secretary General from 2001 to 2007 – said the Russian tyrant has failed in his goal to weaken the alliance.

Instead, the war has worked to bolster Nato’s strength, the 83-year-old said.

He told The Sun: “The Russian aggression in Ukraine was intended to fight back [against] Nato, in a way.

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“But it was the opposite… because you see that Finland and Sweden – who had no intention to join in Nato before – became Nato members.

“The war has reinforced Nato. It is a paradox… but this is what has happened.”

Nato’s GDP is 20 times greater than Russia with 3.2million military personnel – compared to Russia’s measly 1.2million.

In total, the alliance also has four times as many tanks, three times as many fighter aircrafts and 16 aircraft carriers compared to Putin’s one.

But Minuto-Rizzo said Ukraine joining Nato would have “dangerous” consequences – and believes Kyiv would be better protected without being a member of the alliance.

Several Eastern European countries, including Poland and the Baltic states, believe extending Nato membership to Ukraine would be the most effective way to stop Putin.

Other Nato officials warned it’s too soon while the nation is fighting a war against Russia.

If you have Nato sending troops into Ukraine, it will change the course of the war


Alessandro Minuto-Rizzo

Minuto-Rizzo said: “I’m not sure that to enlarge Nato with Ukraine is the best response.

“There are many ways in which you can protect and guarantee those countries when the war is finished… without becoming members of Nato.

“There is no need at all to have Ukraine as a Nato member. I’m not sure that it will support the strength of the alliance – and also because it is controversial.

“And it’s not necessarily the best thing to do to protect them. 

“If Ukraine becomes a Nato member, then immediately you change the character of the war – it will be a war of Russia against Nato countries.

“So that will be new, different, dangerous.”

As the Western military alliance turns 75 on Thursday, Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg proposed a $108-billion five-year fund in a bid to ensure long-term support for Kyiv.

He is also pushing to get Nato more directly involved in coordinating deliveries – something the alliance has so far refused to over fears it could drag the alliance closer to war with Russia.

But Minuto-Rizzo warned against Nato getting involved in the war at a larger scale.

He said: “The logic is to defend Ukraine at the maximum, to support Ukraine economically… but at the same time without aggression in Russia.

“There is a defence, but not offence. If you have Nato sending troops into Ukraine, it will change the course of the war.

“And there is no need for that. The best thing to do is to support the Ukrainians to fight for their own country.

“If you send Nato troops to Ukraine, you only encourage the Russians to upgrade their war.

“And there’s always the danger of another world war. I don’t think it will happen, but you never know. So it is better to be clear of the rules.”

Putin recently said a Russia-Nato conflict would be just one step from World War Three.

And on Thursday, the Kremlin said Russia and Nato are now in “direct confrontation”.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters: “In fact, relations have now slipped to the level of direct confrontation.”

NATO was “already involved in the conflict surrounding Ukraine (and) continues to move towards our borders and expand its military infrastructure towards our borders”, he said.

Minuto-Rizzo warned that talk of all-out war is “very dangerous”.

He urged world leaders to stop discussing the possibility of nuclear war – as it could spark a “stupid” move.

“I would calm down the declarations because it is very dangerous to speak about the war,” he said.

“If you continue to speak about this, perhaps, well, then you know that somebody will make a stupid move. And this would be a disaster for everybody.”

The best thing to do is to support the Ukrainians to fight for their own country


Alessandro Minuto-Rizzo

Despite Putin’s threats, Minuto-Rizzo doesn’t believe the tyrant will attack any Nato countries.

“Russia is not so powerful as it may look,” he said.

“After all, Russia has a GDP less than Italy. They are very strong from a military point of view, but it’s not a superpower like the Soviet Union was.

“I don’t see why they would attack western Europe and Nato countries. I can’t understand why Russia would invade Romania or Poland for instance.

“That would be a big mistake. I don’t think it will happen.”

On Putin’s future, Minuto-Rizzo said the tyrant is “probably more capable of making a compromise than others in Russia”.

“The possibility is also that if Putin goes away, there will be people worse than him,” he said.

“There are people in Russia who are more nationalistic than him.

“I think that if he goes away, he’s not necessarily a perfect thing for us.

“He is probably more capable of making a compromise than others in Russia.”

On Thursday, a ceremony will take place to mark the day that Nato’s founding treaty was signed – April 4, 1949, in Washington.

A bigger celebration is planned for when Nato leaders meet in Washington from July 9 to 11.

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