The EU commissioner has warned that Vladimir Putin has his eyes on Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia being Russia’s next targets.
A former senior British military chief has warned that NATO may well be forced to fight Russia either “now or later” which will almost certainly bring the world in to a war no one will want.
The Latvian commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis told Politico, “If we do not support Ukraine, it’s not going to stop in Ukraine, because clearly Putin is now in some kind of aggressive war mood and unfortunately it is likely that this aggression will continue in other countries.”
He also warned Russia are “supporting Belarusian interests in having access to Baltic Sea,” he said, “If you look at Russia’s escalating … anti-Baltic rhetoric — well in Ukraine, it also started with increasing anti-Ukrainian rhetoric.”
The EU commissioner added, “This still needs to sink in. Unfortunately, there are still some illusions — willingness to do some sort of appeasement of the aggressor.”
The no-fly zone over Ukraine has been a top topic in recent days, and one that Western leaders have pushed back against, but the thinking may be moving on this and it could be necessary to implement.
General Sir Chris Deverell, who was commander of the Joint Forces Command until 2019, wrote on Twitter, “I have been against the imposition of a no fly zone by NATO in Ukraine, believing that it would surely escalate the conflict.
“But Putin seems hell bent on escalation.
“So the question is becoming: does NATO fight him now or fight him later?”
General Deverell added, that Putin would likely respond with nuclear threats, but that his threats would likely be meaningless.
The former commander of the Joint Forces Command said, “There is no fundamental reason why these [nuclear threats] are more useful to Putin than they are to NATO.
“Our logic has to be that his threats are meaningless. Whatever he can do to us, we can do to him.
“The risk of course is that Putin is sufficiently mad to prefer a (very!) high scoring draw to a defeat. But a) many of those around him may not be equally invested in his plans, and b) there are still possible outcomes that he need not admit as defeat.”
He added, “But let’s not impose a No Fly Zone unless we are willing to back it up with ground troops, if necessary.”