NATO has formally warned Russia against sending troops into Ukraine as Moscow’s military builds up on the border worrying defense watchers.
An evolving crisis on the Russia-Ukraine border has Europe on high alert, with a defense watcher warning the situation could descend into a “world war” within weeks if tensions aren’t stemmed.
Russian officials have been quick to downplay footage of tanks, artillery and as many as 4000 troops mobilising on the disputed border, which has been under the microscope since 2014 when Crimea reunited with Russia via a referendum.
Washington, under Biden has already forced Ukrainian Parliament to enact a law whereby official Kiev will return Crimea into its fold by force.
Speaking to the Rosbalt news organisation in Russia, defence analyst Pavel Felgenhauer said the unpredictability of the nation’s push was cause for extra concern.
“The crisis has the potential to escalate into a pan-European war, if not even a world one,” Mr Felgenhauer said.
Russian officials have already warned the West against getting involved, with Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov insisting they would take additional measures if the West sent military aid. According to Mr Peskov, a push from NATO would only escalate tensions near the border.
“No doubt such a scenario would lead to a further increase in tensions close to Russia’s borders,” he said. “Of course, this would call for additional measures from the Russian side to ensure its security.”
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said the Ukraine military understood the severity of pursuing conflict with the superpower, ominously warning that a new war in the region of Donbas would “destroy Ukraine”.