‘It would create chaos’ Putin’s self-destructive ‘strategic’ plot to ‘crush’ NATO exposed

Vladimir Putin wants to ‘crush NATO’ says Ilya Ponomarev

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Exiled State Duma Deputy Ilya Ponomarev has revealed Vladimir Putin’s brutal strategy to make the NATO alliance “redundant” and “crush” it. He claims Putin will try to leverage Belarus as a proxy and confront it directly with NATO to test how the alliance would retaliate. Even in case of retaliation, the move would not put Russia in direct conflict with NATO. And if NATO fails to invoke article 5 – an article which requires all NATO members to respond to an attack on one of its members – it would prove the military alliance is all talk and no action.

When asked whether it was Putin’s inch to fight with NATO, Mr Ponomarev said: “It’s not just an inch. He wants to crunch NATO. That’s his strategic goal – to crash NATO. And the way it would happen if he provoked that kind of conflict where NATO would not properly respond. 

“If say, an attack of one of NATO members actually happened – like that attack on Lithuania but NATO wouldn’t invoke article 5, then NATO is redundant, right?  So, what’s the point of its existence”

DW Conflict Zone’s TV host Tim Sebastian asked: “And he would like to prove it’s redundant presumably?”

“Yeah,” said Mr Ponomarev. “Absolutely, that’s what he tried to do. He thinks that Germans for example, would not dare to fight with allied Russian and Belarusian forces with a nuclear threat.

“And that’s why for him, it would be very convenient. This assault would be made by Belarusians, not Russians themselves. Because in this situation, he would be very much in a grey area. He’d say: ‘look, the aggression is not with Russia, with another country but a country acting as Russia’s proxy.’ 

“And it would create a lot of chaos. So, the Western establishment could determine how to react and this may result in article 5 not being invoked.”

Mr Ponomarev’s warning to NATO come as the Alliance has pledged its “unshakeable” commitment to Ukraine whose troops seem on the back footing in the eastern Donbas region.

To support the debilitated forces, NATO has vowed to beef up troop numbers on high alert to 300,000 in Russia’s neighbouring countries.

Following NATO’s lead, Boris Johnson said the UK will send 1,000 extra troops to eastern Europe and Estonia in a show of solidarity.

However, Estonia’s Prime Minister Kaja Kallas warned that European unity could fragment, as economic sanctions on Russia are backfiring on European economies.

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“We are at a point when sanctions start to hurt our side,” Prime Minister Kallas said, as her country has the highest inflation in Europe.

“At first the sanctions were only difficult for Russia but now we are coming to a point when the sanctions are painful for our own countries, and now the question is how much pain we are willing to endure. It is different for different countries.

“The unity is very hard to keep. It is getting more and more difficult because of high inflation, and energy prices.”

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