On Russia’s threat of a ‘World War’, French President Macron said…

‘We don’t want a world war’ – French President Emmanuel Macron’s response on Thursday to a Russian threat over Ukraine’s bid for NATO accession. “We help Ukraine to resist on his ground, never to attack Russia. Vladimir Putin must stop this war and respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity,” Macron, who has provided military and financial aid to Kiev, tweeted.

macron also told French broadcaster France 2 that it would not condone nuclear strikes even if Moscow unleashed such weapons in Ukraine. “Our doctrine would not be affected if … there were a ballistic nuclear attack in Ukraine,” he said.

The French president’s comment came hours after Iranian-made drones hit Ukraine’s capital and dozens of cities in the war-torn country. The attacks were followed by NATO allies who promised to help Ukraine’s air defenses.

“… howitzers to conduct (a) counter-offensive(s)… radars, systems and missiles to protect against air strikes… armored vehicles and training… continue to support the Ukrainian resistance and increase our military aid” Macron said.

That prompted Alexander Venediktov, deputy secretary of the Russian Security Council, to tell the state-run TASS news agency Kiev to accelerate its NATO membership constitutes a “guaranteed escalation into World War III.”

Venediktov also underlined Moscow’s warning to the West that by helping Ukraine they are a “direct party to the conflict,” and said NATO members personally understood the “suicidal nature” of Kiev’s admission to the group.

READ | Ukraine’s entry into NATO could lead to World War III: Russia warns

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy tried to speed up the process last month; this was after the russian leader Vladimir Putin has ‘annexed’ four regions.

NATO is not expected to join Ukraine anytime soon, not least because its membership during an ongoing war would bring it into conflict with Russia.

Meanwhile, the military bloc’s Nuclear Planning Group met on Thursday to discuss plans for an exercise. This was after Putin said he would defend Russia “by all means at his disposal” – a threat linked to Moscow’s deployment of nuclear weapons.

Moscow has repeatedly justified the invasion – which began on February 24 and killed tens of thousands of people – as a ‘special operation’ launched because Ukraine’s ambitions to join NATO pose a ‘threat’ to security. from Russia.

With input from Bloomberg, AFP, Reuters

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