NATO has issued a chilling warning of nuclear war after Vladimir Putin’s deranged speech plunged the world into its most dangerous moment since the Russian invasion.
Jens Stoltenberg, head of the Western military alliance, said Putin’s shameless land grab will not stop NATO from giving its “unwavering support” to Ukraine.
The NATO chief said Putin’s latest move has brought the world one step closer to nuclear Armageddon.
“Putin has mobilized hundreds of thousands more troops, engaged in irresponsible nuclear saber-rattling and is now illegally annexing more Ukrainian territory,” Stoltenberg said in a news conference.
“Taken together, this represents the worst escalation since the beginning of the war.
“NATO reiterates its unwavering support for Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.
“We remain committed to supporting Ukraine as it continues to defend itself against Russian aggression for as long as necessary.”
Meanwhile, the US called for an emergency UN Security Council meeting where it is expected to announce a new wave of sanctions against Russia.
Joe Biden said the US would continue to provide military aid to Ukraine.
“We will continue to provide Ukraine with the equipment it needs to defend itself, undeterred by Russia’s brazen efforts to redraw its neighbor’s borders,” the president said in a statement.
“We will rally the international community to denounce these moves and hold Russia accountable.”
Putin officially signed decrees declaring Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhia to be Russian territory after a series of sham referendums.
The ruthless land grab was made official at a signing ceremony in the Georgievsky Hall of the Grand Kremlin Palace.
Putin was late arriving at the big gathering of his cronies and then uttered a long, rambling, nonsensical diatribe.
In his speech he said: “People have made their choice – and that choice is beyond doubt… that is the will of millions of people.”
The Russian leader vowed to “defend our country by all means” – and said the people living in the stolen Ukrainian regions are “our citizens forever”.
“The people living in Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson region and Zaporizhia region will forever become our citizens,” he said.
“We will defend our country with all our strength and all our means.”
The crowd looked glum and seemed to applaud on cue as the tyrant blared for almost an hour before the separatist leaders signed the decrees, joined hands and chanted “Russia!”
A huge rally was held in Moscow’s Red Square on Friday, where Putin vowed that Russia “will win.”
Just moments after Putin’s deranged speech, Ukraine officially applied for NATO membership.
President Volodymyr Zelensky signed the documents for accelerated membership in the Alliance to “Protect Our Entire Community”.
He also said Ukraine would continue its blitzkrieg counteroffensive against Russia in the east.
“By attempting to annex Ukraine’s Donetsk, Lugansk, Zaporizhia and Kherson regions, Putin is attempting to seize territories that he does not even physically control locally,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said.
“Nothing changes for Ukraine: we continue to liberate our country and people and restore our territorial integrity.”
Russia has long feared Ukraine joining the alliance since it has drawn closer to the West and has repeatedly issued threats from Putin to intimidate the nation into staying out of him.
If Ukraine’s bid is successful, member states would be obliged to defend it against Russia – meaning Britain and the US would be forced to send in troops.
It comes as the US Treasury Department imposed sanctions on hundreds of Russian lawmakers and leaders of the country’s financial and military infrastructure.
And the Commerce Department added 57 companies to its list of export control violations, while the State Department added more than 900 people to its list of visa restrictions.
The UK also tightened sanctions with sweeping new measures targeting vulnerable sectors of the economy.
Britain bans the export of nearly 700 items vital to Russia’s industrial and tech sectors.
Secretary of State James Cleverly said: “The Russian regime must be held accountable for this heinous violation of international law.”
The four regions annexed by Russia cover about 90,000 square kilometers or about 15 percent of Ukraine – about the size of Hungary or Portugal.
Putin’s outrageous move has fueled fears that he could launch a nuclear strike to protect his so-called Russian territory.
As fierce Ukrainian troops push his forces back into the country’s northeast, there are concerns the tyrant will now attempt to reframe the Blitz counteroffensive as an assault on Russia’s sovereignty.
The Kremlin said any attack on newly annexed parts of Ukraine would be considered an attack on Russia itself – adding its troops would fight to take the entire eastern Donbass region.
https://www.the-sun.com/news/6340675/nato-issues-nuclear-war-warning-vladimir-putin/ NATO issues chilling nuclear war warning after Vlad’s deranged speech at ‘most dangerous moment since Russian invasion’