“The danger is serious, it is real, it cannot be underestimated.” Russia’s foreign minister warned of the threat of a third world war on Monday, April 25, when tensions between Moscow and the West are highest. Sergei Lavrov spoke on the eve of a meeting of forty US allies in Germany, aimed at “Creating additional opportunities for Ukrainian forces”.
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Since the beginning of the Russian invasion on February 24, Ukrainian troops have managed to resist the offensive. But they lack the means to push back a new phase in Donbass and the south. Therefore, during April, the West decided to supply heavy weapons to Kyiv. Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia sent tanks and anti-missile batteries to their neighbor. The United Kingdom and the Netherlands provided armored vehicles, and the United States promised $ 800 million in weapons. Echoes. The latest announcement to date is Germany, which on Tuesday promised to deliver Cheetah anti-aircraft tanks to Kyiv.
However, under international law, this increased involvement of Westerners with Ukraine is not enough to make them joint parties. “Selling or distributing weapons is not an act of militancy, so recalls lawyer Alain Pelle, whose interview with franceinfo. Europe has the right to take legitimate countermeasures against those who seriously violate international law [en envahissant un pays voisin]».
“Many countries are, of course, concerned, but (…) not directly”also emphasized Isabelle Devion, a lecturer at the Sorbonne University, in an interview with Telegram (paid goods) released in early March. According to this specialist in international relations, the world war is also characterized “Two coalitions [d’Etats] face to face “involved in “fights” opponent “Men and women with weapons”as well as “several theaters of confrontation, involving several continents”. At this stage, “Battles are limited to a certain geographical region”, she notes. And the United States and its allies have repeatedly stated that they will not send troops to Ukraine.
Therefore, according to some observers, challenging the risk of global conflict is part of a communication strategy. “We will talk about the Third World War only when people subjectively agree that it is, says historian Gabriel Rosenfeld Washington Post. As long as the conflict is limited by its current characteristics, its character will remain a guerrilla battle under the influence of fear.
So how to interpret Sergei Lavrov’s statement about risk “real” World War III? For Isabel Facon, Deputy Director of the Foundation for Strategic Studies, this tour is “Response to the meeting of forty countries to provide further assistance to Ukraine.”
“Recently, the Russian discourse has become more threatening in the face of arms supplies to Ukraine. The idea is to warn Westerners about crossing the red line, which could lead Russia to consider “allies” in the conflict.Isabel Facon, Deputy Director of the Strategic Studies Foundation
But we do not know where this red line is for Moscow, says a specialist in Russian security and defense policy. “Noting that Ukraine’s partners are not afraid of arms transfers, at a time when the Kremlin should be able to assert progress in the Donbas, Russia wants to implicitly warn of the risk of continuing the conflict.”believes Isabel Facon.
Some experts are concerned about the consequences of a potential incident on the border with NATO, for example in Poland or the Baltic states. Article 5 of the Atlantic Treaty provides that in the event of aggression by a Member State, all other countries come to its aid. “L.World war is not the goal of Putin, who only wants Ukrainetells Tatiana Jean, a specialist from Russia at the French Institute of International Relations (Ifri), in columns Echoes. But during the war, as I said, the incident happened quickly.