NewsPutin warns of World War III risks amid NATO tensions, post-election plans

Putin warns of World War III risks amid NATO tensions, post-election plans

Putin spoke out after the elections in Russia.
Putin spoke out after the elections in Russia.
Images source: © Getty Images | Contributor

6:29 AM EDT, March 18, 2024

Vladimir Putin warned on Monday that a direct conflict between Russia and the US-led NATO military alliance would mean "standing on the brink of World War III."

In February, French President Emmanuel Macron suggested that the future deployment of ground forces in Ukraine could not be ruled out. This proposition has received mixed reactions, with many Western countries distancing themselves from the idea.

Following Putin's victory in the Russian presidential election, Reuters reporters questioned him about the potential risk of conflict between Russia and NATO. The Russian leader responded, "In today's world, everything is possible".

It is clear to everyone that this would be one step away from the outbreak of a full-scale World War III,” he remarked. Putin further argued that NATO forces were essentially present in Ukraine, noting that almost no one would desire such a scenario.

Putin's plan for Ukraine

Putin remarked that Russia has learned to speak on the battlefield in both English and French. "This is not good, primarily for them, because they perish in large numbers," he observed.

"I do not rule out that, given the tragic events unfolding today, we might be compelled, at a time we see fit, to establish a 'sanitary zone' within the territories of the current Kyiv regime," Putin stated, referencing the democratically elected authorities of Ukraine. He declined to share further details but mentioned that such a zone could be extensive enough to prevent foreign weapons from entering Russian territory.

Russian presidential elections

A poll by the Russian Public Opinion Research Center immediately after the polls closed in Russia indicated that 87.97% of voters supported the incumbent leader.

Addressing the exit poll results, President Zelensky delivered a speech stating, "The Russian dictator simulates another election." He accused Putin of wielding "enough power to rule forever." He also declared, "There is and can be no legitimacy in simulating elections. This man must face trial in The Hague. This is what we need to achieve."

The United States also raised concerns over the exit poll results. The White House emphasized that the elections in Russia "were obviously neither free nor fair."

Source: Reuters, PAP

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