February 24, 2024

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ambiguous rhetoric concerning the expansion of Russia’s conflict against Ukraine to other states is intensifying fears of a potential World War 3 outbreak.

In a recent interview with VRT News, Belgium’s Chief of Defence, Michel Hofman, has raised the alarm over the escalating threat posed by Russia to Eastern European nations.

Hofman highlighted Russia’s unsettling shift to a war economy and expressed deep concern about the Kremlin’s language, emphasising the need for vigilance. “I think we are right to be concerned. The language used by the Kremlin and by President Vladimir Putin is always ambiguous,” he said during the interview.

Despite NATO’s presence in the area, heightened tensions persist, especially concerning Moldova, which shares a border with Ukraine.

Of particular concern is Transnistria, a disputed region where the Kremlin wields substantial influence. Fears loom that Russia could exploit its claim to the region as a pretext for military aggression, following patterns observed in Ukraine and Georgia.

While the Baltic three are under NATO’s protection, the need for preparedness is deemed crucial. An attack by Putin’s troops on Estonia, Latvia, or Lithuania would not only dramatically escalate tensions but also trigger NATO’s policy of collective responsibility, compelling the alliance to take decisive action.