“We do not want a World War.”
That is what French President Emmanuel Macron said this week, following threats of nuclear escalation by Kremlin officials.
“We are helping Ukraine to resist on its soil, never to attack Russia. Vladimir Putin must stop this war and respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity,” Macron added.
We are helping Ukraine to resist on its soil, never to attack Russia. Vladimir Putin must stop this war and respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity.
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) October 13, 2022
The comments were made after ominous statements by Alexander Venediktov, deputy secretary of Russia’s security council this week.
Speaking to Russian state-run news agency TASS, Venediktov said that Ukraine’s attempt to fast-track its way into the NATO alliance would amount to a “guaranteed escalation to World War 3.”
— Pjotr Sauer (@PjotrSauer) September 30, 2022
Venediktov added that by helping Ukraine, the West was becoming a “direct party to the conflict,” and said that many NATO member states privately understood the “suicidal nature” of allowing Ukraine into the alliance.
It is a top strategic priority of Russia to prevent Ukraine from joining NATO, as if this came to pass, there would be a member of a hostile enemy alliance, potentially wielding nuclear weapons, right on Russia’s border. Many analysts say that the prospect of Ukraine joining NATO was the main reason for the initial invasion back in February of this year.
Russia has, on numerous occasions since the war began, threatened to unleash nuclear weapons in a bid to win its conflict against Ukraine.
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell threatened to “annihilate” Russia’s forces if the invading country used nukes against Ukraine.
🗣 A nuclear attack on Ukraine would result in Russia's forces being "annihilated" by the West's military response, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has saidhttps://t.co/8XB5jddwx5 pic.twitter.com/azkPt2PnxC
— The Telegraph (@Telegraph) October 13, 2022
“Putin is saying he is not bluffing,” said Borrell.
“Well, he cannot afford bluffing, and it has to be clear that the people supporting Ukraine and the European Union and the Member States, and the United States and NATO are not bluffing neither.
“Any nuclear attack against Ukraine will create an answer, not a nuclear answer, but such a powerful answer from the military side that the Russian Army will be annihilated.”
However, France’s Macron said that France would not respond with nuclear weapons if Russia used such weapons in its war – prompting criticism that he is “showing his hand.”
In an interview on "France 2", #France's President Macron said French "vital interests … would not be at stake if there was a nuclear ballistic attack in Ukraine or in the region" by #Russia. https://t.co/cbTUhUN2rP
— Kyle Orton (@KyleWOrton) October 13, 2022