A Russia-NATO conflict is just one step from World War Three – Putin warns US

A Russia-NATO conflict is just one step from World War Three - Putin warns US



Russian President Vladimir Putin warned the US and the West on Monday, March 18 that a direct conflict between Russia and the U.S.-led NATO military alliance would mean the world was one step away from World War Three but said hardly anyone wanted such a scenario.

The Ukraine war has triggered the deepest crisis in Moscow’s relations with the West since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis leading Putin to tout the use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine.


French President Emmanuel Macron last month said he could not rule out the deployment of ground troops in Ukraine in the future, with many Western countries distancing themselves from that while others, especially in Eastern Europe, expressed support.




Asked about Macron’s remarks and the risks and possibility of a conflict between Russia and NATO, Putin quipped: “Everything is possible in the modern world.” He told Reuters.

“It is clear to everyone, that this will be one step away from a full-scale World War Three. I think hardly anyone is interested in this,” Putin

After winning the biggest-ever landslide election in post-Soviet Russian history, Putin added that NATO military personnel were present already in Ukraine, saying that Russia had picked up both English and French being spoken on the battlefield.

“There is nothing good in this, first of all for them, because they are dying there and in large numbers,” he said.


Ahead of the March 15-17 Russian election, Ukraine stepped up attacks against Russia, shelling border regions.

Asked if he considered it necessary to take Ukraine’s Kharkiv region, Putin said if the attacks continued, Russia would create a buffer zone out of more Ukrainian territory to defend Russian territory.

“I do not exclude that, bearing in mind the tragic events taking place today, we will be forced at some point, when we deem it appropriate, to create a certain ‘sanitary zone’ in the territories today under the Kyiv regime,” Putin said.

He declined to give any further details but said such a zone might have to be big enough to preclude foreign-made armaments from reaching Russian territory.

Putin ordered a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, triggering a major European war after eight years of conflict in eastern Ukraine between Ukrainian forces on one side and pro-Russian Ukrainians and Russian proxies on the other.

Putin said he wished Macron would stop seeking to aggravate the war in Ukraine and to play a role in finding peace: “It seems that France could play a role. All is not lost yet.”


“I’ve been saying it over and over again and I’ll say it again. We are for peace talks, but not just because the enemy is running out of bullets,” Putin said.


“If they, seriously, want to build peaceful, good-neighborly relations between the two states in the long term, and not simply take a break for rearmament for 1.5-2 years.”


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