Dire NATO warning as Russia could launch deadly attack ‘in two to three years’

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun5,2024

NATO is stepping up preparations in the event of a possible Russian strike against the alliance – but has just two to three years to do so, Norway’s chief of defence has warned.

As the Western military alliance reviews the growing threat from Vladimir Putin, General Eirik Kristoffersen said: “It will take some time, which gives us a window now for the next two to three years to rebuild our forces, to rebuild our stocks at the same time as we are supporting Ukraine.”

He spoke out as he discussed Russia’s ability to rebuild its forces while waging war in Ukraine.

Gen Kristoffersen’s timeframe is lower than previous estimates. In January, Germany’s defence minister warned that Russia could attack NATO in five to eight years.

Speaking in Oslo, Mr Kristoffersen also pointed to Putin’s statement that Russia does not want a war with NATO.

But it is understood NATO is now already busily developing multiple “land corridors” to rush US troops and armour to the front lines in the event of a major European ground war with Russia.

American soldiers would land at one of five ports and be channelled along pre-planned logistical routes to confront a possible attack by Moscow.

Logistical routes have become a key priority since NATO leaders agreed to prepare 300,000 troops to be kept in a state of high readiness to defend the alliance at a summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, last year.

Existing plans have US troops landing at Dutch ports before boarding trains that transport them through Germany and onwards to Poland.

In the event of a Russian invasion of NATO, US troops would be shipped to the port of Rotterdam before being transported eastward.

But arrangements are also being made behind the scenes to expand the routes to other ports to ensure the ground line of communications cannot be severed by Moscow’s forces.

Lt Gen Alexander Sollfrank, the chief of NATO’s Joint Support Enabling Command (JSEC), said: “Ukraine suffers very much from these Russian long-range missile attacks on the logistic systems.”

But as preparations gather momentum, Russia yesterday issued a chilling threat to the United States, telling it not to make a “fatal” miscalculation in Ukraine.

The Kremlin’s deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov said America could face “fatal consequences” if it ignored Moscow’s warnings not to let Ukraine use weapons provided by Washington to strike targets inside Russia.

Ryabkov was commenting on President Joe Biden‘s decision last week to approve the use of US-supplied weapons to hit targets inside Russia that were involved in attacks on Ukraine‘s Kharkiv region.

“I would like to warn American leaders against miscalculations that could have fatal consequences. For unknown reasons, they underestimate the seriousness of the rebuff they may receive,” state news agency RIA quoted Ryabkov as saying.

He also referred to comments last week by Putin, who said NATO countries were playing with fire and risking a deeper global conflict – one of a series of warnings from Moscow about the risk of a serious escalation.

“I urge these figures (in the US) … to spend some of their time, which they apparently spend on some kind of video games, judging by the lightness of their approach, on studying what was said in detail by Putin,” Ryabkov said.

Putin had delivered “a very significant warning and it must be taken with the utmost seriousness”, he added.

Putin said the West would be directly involved in any use of its weapons by Ukraine to strike deep inside Russia, because such attacks would require its satellite, intelligence and military help.
Last week, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that the alliance had the right to help Ukraine uphold its own right to self-defence, and this did not make NATO a party to the conflict.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said at the weekend that Kyiv was grateful to Washington for allowing it to use US-supplied HIMARS rocket systems in the Kharkiv region, but this was not enough.

Ukraine has long argued that restrictions on the way it can use Western-supplied weapons are seriously limiting its ability to defend itself.

Russian news agencies quoted Ryabkov as saying that attempts by Kyiv to attack Russian early-warning radar systems would be thwarted and Moscow may respond asymmetrically to such steps.

A Kyiv intelligence source said last week that a Ukrainian drone had targeted a long-range radar deep inside Russia that is part of Russia‘s early-warning system to detect whether it is under nuclear attack.
Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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