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A Russia-NATO conflict just a step to World War III, Putin warns

A Russia-NATO conflict just a step to World War III, Putin warns

President Vladimir Putin warned the West on Monday that a direct conflict between Russia and the US-led North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), a military alliance, would fester World War III, which according to him, would not be wanted by many.

Russian president made this known after his landslide election victory, securing him another six-year term, adding to his already 24 years reign.

The Ukraine war has triggered the deepest crisis in Moscow’s relations with the West since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. Putin has often warned of the risks of nuclear war but says he has never felt the need to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine.

Read also: Russia signs military deals with 40 African states, Putin says

Last month, President Emmanuel Macron 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.

According to Reuters, Putin said the possibility of a conflict between Russia and NATO cannot be ruled out. “Everything is possible in the modern world,” he stated.

“It is clear to everyone that this will be one step away from a full-scale World War III. I think hardly anyone is interested in this,” Putin told reporters after winning the biggest-ever election landslide in post-Soviet Russian history.

Putin added, though, 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.

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.

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