NATO warns Putin it is prepared for ‘all contingencies’ against Russian war threats

US Ambassador to NATO Julianne Smith has warned the United States and its transatlantic partners are gearing up for potential Russian aggression beyond Ukraine’s borders.

During a press briefing on Tuesday, she highlighted Russia as “the pre-eminent threat” facing NATO but clarified that “we do not see an imminent threat to NATO territory.”

“NATO is not sitting on its hands,” Smith added. “It’s not waiting for any possible contingency. Instead, it’s preparing for all contingencies.”

Smith’s remarks come amidst growing concerns among NATO officials, especially those on the alliance’s eastern flank bordering Russia, regarding Moscow’s increasing aggression. They fear that a Russian victory in Ukraine could embolden further aggression from Moscow.

Smith echoed these concerns, stating: “We have seen many times in history where authoritarian leaders continue their aggression if not stopped,” referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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“That’s why it’s so important that we all help Ukraine push Russia out of its territory and end this unprovoked aggression. Because if they do not succeed, of course, the concern is that Russia will feel compelled to keep going.”

However, Smith clarified that the US does not perceive an immediate Russian threat to NATO.

“We are not signaling imminent war,” Smith said, highlighting the importance of monitoring indicators and warnings, similar to those preceding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

“We monitor the situation regularly, as you might imagine, to look for other indicators and warnings that Russia is preparing to do something above and beyond what it’s doing in Ukraine.”

“Right now, we see Russia all in and engaged with this unprovoked war of aggression inside Ukraine. But we do not have indicators or warnings right now that a Russian war is imminent on NATO territory, and I really want to be clear about that.”

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Acknowledging concerns from NATO’s eastern members, she assured: “We take these concerns seriously, but we do not perceive an imminent threat.”

As Western nations aim to bolster support for Ukraine amid continued conflict and impending Russian offensives, certain leaders, notably French President Emmanuel Macron, have suggested the possibility of sending allied troops to Ukraine.

However, Ambassador Smith stated that the United States does not support such a proposal.

She said: “The US does not support sending troops to fight in Ukraine; we’ve been very clear about that. We are not interested in becoming party to this conflict, but we do want to support Ukraine as it defends itself against Russian aggression.”

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