Photo credit: NATO via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Ukraine war may “go horribly wrong,” says NATO chief

Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine may culminate in an all-out “major war” between Russia and the West, according to NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.

Speaking last Friday about the continued conflict, Norway’s former prime minister said that the situation was “very serious” and a “fateful time for Europe.”

“If things go wrong, they could go horribly wrong,” he told Norwegian state broadcaster NRK.

“I fear that the war in Ukraine will get out of control, and spread into a major war between NATO and Russia.”

While he said that he was “confident” that this outcome could be avoided, he said that the only way to prevent a global conflict was to continue to support Ukraine militarily.

“At some point, conversations are useless,” he said.

“Putin had decided to use force and power. What helps is supporting Ukraine militarily. It is only a strong Ukraine that leads to peace.”

He added: “[Putin] knows it’s one for all, and all for one. NATO’s most important task is to prevent full-scale war in Europe, and that is something we work on every single day.”

The development comes as the EU says that it is working on creating its own “rapid military intervention force” which will be ready as soon as 2025, according to a report last month by Die Welt.

The EU describes the body as a “scalable military instrument,” with not just ground forces, but air and naval forces if the situation calls for it as well.

In October, the Irish government confirmed that Ireland would be contributing 120 troops to the force despite the country’s neutral status.

“As regards a rapid reaction force, yes, I think there’s a good chance that we’ll be involved in that,” Fine Gael Defence Minister Simon Coveney said earlier in the year.

“We could have up to 5,000 trained personnel that have trained together, worked together, have shared equipment, and are ready to go at short notice. And if Ireland chooses to be part of that, then of course we can be.”


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