Moscow: With rising conflicts, shellings and lives being lost, the tensions between Russia and Ukraine is only escalating. Amid the ongoing conflict, the admission of Ukraine to NATO could result in a third world war, the deputy secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, Alexander Venediktov, told the state TASS news agency in an interview on Thursday, according to a report by Reuters.Also Read – Ukraine's Kyiv Area Hit by Iranian-made Kamikaze Drones
“Kyiv is well aware that such a step would mean a guaranteed escalation to World War Three,” TASS quoted Alexander Venediktov, the deputy secretary of Russia’s Security Council. Also Read – ‘His Hands Will Be Completely Covered In Ukrainian Blood’: How New Russian Commander Is Described
Why Is Russia Threatening Now?
The warning comes after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced a surprise bid for fast-track membership of NATO on September 3o. Just hours earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin had formally proclaimed the annexation of up to 18 per cent of Ukraine. Also Read – Ukraine Emergency Services Put Entire Country On ‘High Alert’ As Calls For ‘Retaliation’ Grow Louder In Moscow
Venediktov, who is deputy to Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev, a powerful Putin ally, said he felt Ukraine’s application was propaganda as the West understood the consequences of Ukrainian membership of NATO. ” The suicidal nature of such a step is understood by NATO members themselves,” he added.
Emphasising on how the consequences could be disastrous for all of mankind, he added, “We must remember: a nuclear conflict will affect absolutely the whole world, not only Russia and the collective West, but every country on this planet.”
However, Ukraine’s membership bid was seen as largely symbolic, since full membership would require consent from all 30 NATO members, and ongoing territorial disputes pose as an obstacle for countries to join the alliance.
NATO, Kyiv Allies Meet
NATO’s secretive Nuclear Planning Group met Thursday as the military alliance presses ahead with plans to hold a nuclear exercise next week as concerns deepen over President Vladimir Putin’s insistence that he will use any means necessary to defend Russian territory, according to a report by news agency The Associated Press.
Defense ministers led the session, which usually happens once or twice a year, at NATO headquarters in Brussels. It comes against a backdrop of high tension as some NATO allies, led by the US, supply Ukraine with advanced weapons and munitions to defend itself against Russian aerial attacks.
NATO is keeping a wary eye on Russia’s movements, but has so far seen no change in its nuclear posture. But additional uncertainty comes from the fact that Russia is also due to hold its own nuclear exercises soon, possibly at the same time as NATO or just after, according to NATO diplomats. That could complicate the 30-country military organization’s reading of the war and of Moscow’s intentions.
(Inputs from agencies)