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Analysis: Would Russia attack NATO over Ukraine weapons?

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NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg called for Western Countries to maintain support for Ukraine in the coming months, joining British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in pushing for continued military and financial support to beat Russia.

During separate comments both published, both Johnson and Stoltenberg stressed the importance of deterring Russia from engaging in future military invasions. Their words appeared to reflect nervousness that Russia may be emboldened by a victory in Ukraine and may ultimately decide to take military action against Western countries.

Speaking to the German newspaper Bild am Sontag, Stoltenberg stressed that the West should ensure the rising costs of supporting Ukraine’s defense efforts.

“We must not cease to support Ukraine. Even if the costs are high, not only for military support, but also because of rising energy and food prices.”

Prime Minister Johnson made similar comments in an opinion piece published by the Sunday Times, telling the British public to prepare for a “long war” as “Putin resorts to a campaign of attrition, trying to grind down Ukraine by sheer brutality.”

The call for continued support for Ukraine comes after the Biden administration announced an additional $1 billion in military assistance for Ukraine.

“Today, we announced an additional $1 billion in additional military assistance for Ukraine. Pursuant to a delegation of authority from the President, I am authorizing our twelfth drawdown of arms and equipment from U.S. Department of Defense inventories for Ukraine’s defense since August 2021, valued at up to $350 million,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced in a statement.

Blinken ended the statement by insisting that the United States’ resolve was “unwavering.”

Would Russia Attack the West over Ukraine Weapons?

Is there a point where Russia will declare some sort of Ukraine arms redline and strike NATO or the West in the near future?

It’s hard to imagine a scenario in which Russia attacks a NATO country without extreme provocation – at least at this stage. After suffering so many losses in the war in Ukraine so far (more than the British Army lost in 20 years in Afghanistan but in a mere matter of months) Russia will need many years to rebuild its military, restock its supplies, arms and military vehicles. Russia will also need those years to prepare itself for such a large stack that would unquestionably result in a coordinated response from most, if not all, of NATO’S 30 member states.

Kremlin spokespeople have also played down the possibility of a Russian strike against NATO any time soon, even after repeated threats of “unpredictable consequences” for the continued Western supply of weapons to Ukraine.

Dmitry Peskov ruled out the use of nuclear weapons against NATO or Ukraine in the ongoing invasion during an interview in March. Peskov had initially warned that such weapons may be used against the West in the event that Russia faced an “existential threat, “ but later clarified that the war on Ukraine did not constitute such a threat.

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