Pentagon: if Kiev loses the war, NATO will have to fight against Russia

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Pentagon: if Kiev loses the war, NATO will have to fight against Russia

Allocating funds for Ukraine is crucial. This was stated by the head of the Pentagon, Lloyd Austin, underlining that if Ukraine loses the war, the NATO countries will have to fight against Russia. “We know that if Putin succeeds he will not stop. He will continue to be more aggressive in the region. And other leaders around the world, other autocrats will look at this. And they will be encouraged by the fact that this has happened without us being able to support one democratic state,” Austin said in a speech to the US House of Representatives quoted by Ukrainian media. “If you are a Baltic country, you are very worried whether you will be next: they know Putin, they know what he is capable of. And frankly, if Ukraine falls I really believe that NATO will go to war with Russia,” added the head of Pentagon.

Vladimir Putin is once again raising the specter of a nuclear conflict: a “real” threat, he said, due to the moves of NATO countries in the conflict in Ukraine. But Western countries, he warned, must remember that Moscow also possesses “weapons capable of reaching their territories”. The warning was pronounced by the Russian president in his annual speech on the state of the nation before the assembled Houses, an event in which Putin showed off confidence due to the successes recently achieved in the field by his troops, unlike 12 months ago, when the fate they seemed to turn in Kiev's favor.

Putin, however, wanted to reiterate once again that Russia has no intention of attacking countries of the Atlantic Alliance, defining the alarms rising from Europe as “nonsense”. Just as he dismissed as “false” Washington's accusations of wanting to deploy nuclear weapons in space. “This is just a ploy to drag us into negotiations on their terms, which only benefits the US,” he said. But in front of the elite of Russian power – from the government to the military leaders, to the governor of the Central Bank Elvira Nabiullina – the head of the Kremlin wanted to respond personally to the French president Emmanuel Macron, who in recent days had spoken of the possibility of sending Western troops to Ukraine . “We remember – said Putin – the fate of those who in the past sent their contingents to the territory of our country. Now the consequences for any interventionists will be much more tragic”.

“Everything the West is devising really leads to the threat of a conflict with nuclear weapons and therefore the annihilation of civilization,” Putin commented. The Russian leader then returned to accuse the West of wanting to inflict a “strategic defeat” on Russia. But one topic was conspicuous by its total absence in the more than two hours of his speech, interrupted by 80 rounds of applause: Transnistria, the secessionist entity on Moldovan territory whose authorities had yesterday asked for Moscow's help against those they denounced as the economic “pressures” of Chisinau. Evidently not a “priority” for the president, unlike what the Foreign Ministry said yesterday.

Putin praised his forces' successes in Ukraine, saying they will not back down (“they will not retreat, they will not fail, they will not betray”, were his words). But most of his speech was dedicated to interventions in the economic sector, within the framework of a six-year strategic development program which envisages profound transformations in the industrial and social fields. Russia, he announced, must aim to become “one of the four largest economies in the world”. The means to achieve this objective include doubling investments in scientific research, bringing them to 2% of GDP, increasing investments in key industries by 70%, strengthening the production of consumer goods and growing two thirds of exports other than energy resources and raw materials.

With two weeks to go before the elections in which he will stand for a fifth term, Putin has had an eye on the popular classes, promising to double the minimum wage by 2030 (bringing it to the equivalent of 390 dollars) and tax relief. Finally, the president announced a vast health plan with the aim of raising average life expectancy from the current 73 to 78 years, and then bringing it “over 80”. Other projects presented concern the reduction of the economic gap between different regions of Russia and interventions for environmental protection.

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