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Ex-NATO deputy chief warns against Ukrainian membership

The country will not necessarily make the bloc stronger and may cause a global war, Alessandro Minuto-Rizzo has said

NATO has significantly benefited from the Ukraine conflict, but allowing the country to join is not advisable, according to Alessandro Minuto-Rizzo, former deputy secretary general of the the US-led military bloc.

Moscow has cited NATO’s unchecked expansion in Europe as one of the key points of contention with the US and its allies. Its increased presence in Ukraine since a 2014 coup in the country is among the causes of the present hostilities, according to Russian officials. Kiev claims it is protecting Europe from Russia and therefore deserves a place in the bloc.

The Italian diplomat, who served in NATO from 2001 to 2007, and briefly acted as its head during the transition from Secretary General George Robertson to Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, said he did not believe that allowing Ukraine to join was “the best response” under the circumstances.

Alessandro Minuto Rizzo (C) greets US Secretary of State Colin Powell (L) during a NATO meeting in 2004.


”There is no need at all to have Ukraine as a NATO member. I’m not sure that it will support the strength of the alliance – and also because it is controversial,” he told the British tabloid Sun.

If Ukraine becomes a NATO member, then immediately you change the character of the war – it will be a war of Russia against NATO countries.

Moscow perceives the Ukraine conflict as part of a US-led proxy war against Russia. NATO is a geopolitical tool, according to Russian officials, which Washington uses to enforce its goals on European members. The Americans intend to continue hostilities “to the last Ukrainian,” the Kremlin has claimed.

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Minuto-Rizzo asserted that the conflict has made NATO stronger by invigorating it and pushing two previously neutral Western nations – Finland and Sweden – into its ranks. Collectively, the 32 present members have far more weapons, soldiers and funding than Russia does, he pointed out, so there is no threat of Moscow initiating a direct conflict.

”I can’t understand why Russia would invade Romania or Poland for instance,” he said. Kiev and its backers have maintained that by arming Ukraine, the West is defending itself from Russian aggression.

But Russia could “upgrade” hostilities, for example, in response to a deployment of NATO troops to Ukraine, potentially resulting in a world war, Minuto-Rizzo added.

Regarding President Vladimir Putin, the former official characterized him as moderate and willing to compromise, in contrast to some other Russian politicians. In 2021, Moscow offered the West a diplomatic way to defuse tension over NATO expansion and Ukraine, but the appeal was rejected by Washington.

April 05, 2024 at 06:44PM

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