Which scenario makes NATO can declare direct confrontation with Russia?
Britain has vowed to deliver long-range rocket artillery to Ukraine despite warnings from President Vladimir Putin that he would expand the war to new targets.
The move follows the US refusal to send long-range weapons to Ukraine over fears they could be used to strike targets in Russia, escalating the war to a new and more dangerous level.
“We will attack targets that we have not hit yet,” Putin said. He did not specify what these new targets would be.
Moscow has made significant gains in eastern Ukraine in recent days.
NATO, the US, the UK and the European Union (EU) have offered to help Ukraine in the form of Russian sanctions and weapons aid since the war broke out in February 2022.
However, NATO refused to participate directly in the war, citing Ukraine as not a member of the alliance.
So under what circumstances can NATO confront Russia directly?
NATO remains steadfast in its commitment not to engage directly in a war with Russia.
The alliance asserts: “NATO actions are defensive in nature, taken not to provoke conflict but to prevent it. The Alliance has a responsibility to ensure that this war does not escalate and spread. extend beyond the territory of Ukraine”.
But there are some caveats to this commitment, such as whether NATO would respond if Russia used nuclear, chemical or biological weapons, or if conflict spilled over into alliance territory.
Illegal use of weapons could also trigger a military response from NATO.
In March 2022, British Armed Forces Secretary James Heappey warned Russia to think twice about using chemical weapons in Ukraine, as it could trigger “an international response”.
In the early days of the conflict, Western officials feared that the Kremlin might authorize the use of chemical and biological weapons to accelerate the campaign.
Mr. Heappey told the BBC’s Radio 4’s Today program: “President Putin needs to be clear about not using chemical weapons. We’ve seen on TV images of shelling on hospitals, it’s nothing. compared to the suffering and devastation that chemical weapons cause.”
Asked if it was a “red line”, he said: “It doesn’t matter. The point is that President Putin needs to be clearly aware of the international reactions he will face. if chemical weapons are used. There have been examples before, and Mr. Putin should be cautious.”
However, so far there is no evidence that Russia will use these dangerous weapons in the war with Ukraine. The accusations against Russia were only launched after the Russian side announced the discovery of US-funded biological weapons laboratories on Ukrainian territory, and the statement of US officials also mentioned that there were biological weapons laboratories. this sponsorship.
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