The US Defense Secretary warned the West tonight to “prepare for the worst” when conflict with Russia broke out.
Russia has asked the US to back off from increasing tensions with Ukraine or “endangering not only its own security but also that of Europe” as fears of a Third World War grow.
And in his darkest intervention as tensions rise in Eastern Europe, Ben Wallace vowed Britain would “fight the bullies” amid fears of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Mr Wallace said distance should not “prevent Britain” from seeking to “protect the defenseless” as the West confronts Russia over “aggression” towards its neighbour.
On Monday, there appeared to be no major breakthrough in Geneva talks between US and Russian officials as the pair locked horns of Ukraine.
Had one Russia built a huge army with tens of thousands of troops near the border with Ukraine, with talks aimed at de-escalating the crisis before it erupts into full-blown military conflict.
The army is border flooding continues amid fears Vladimir Putin is preparing for a “short and sharp war”.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov insists Moscow has “no intention to invade Ukraine” – but Mr Wallace says there are “concerns” about the Kremlin’s behavior.
“We should not be overly optimistic, and must prepare for the worst,” he told a Policy Exchange event marking 40 years since the Falklands War.
“The analogy with 40 years ago hardly needed articulation.”
In his warning to Russia, he insisted Britain must “always be ready” for war if necessary and “distance should not discourage Britain, nor should the scale of the challenge”.
“We have to be consistent and not go wild as Margaret Thatcher would say,” he said.
And he warned: “History is littered with the consequences of those who have underestimated this tiny island.”
Mr. Wallace added: “Thatcher said that socialists don’t like ordinary people because they may not choose socialism.
“The Kremlin doesn’t like ordinary people choosing because they might not choose the Kremlin.”
Speaking after the first day of week-long talks, Ryabkov warned the US not to take any steps that “endanger not only its own security but also that of Europe”.
He said now NATO is taking a “step” and not Russia.
“If this does not happen, the matter will be evaluated and considered along with all other factors,” Mr. Ryabkov said.
Jens Stoltenberg, head of the NATO alliance, has warning that the danger of conflict in Ukraine is real.
NATO is preparing for the possibility of Russia invading more of the vast Eastern European country.
“The construction of the Russian army has not stopped,” Stoltenberg said.
“There are more forces, more possibilities. The risk of conflict is real. Russia’s aggressive actions seriously undermine the security order in Europe.
Britain’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office has urged Russia to “stop its acts of aggression” – repeating warnings of “serious costs” for any invasion of Ukraine. .
A spokesman for the Bureau said: “The UK is working closely with our allies and partners, including the US, to make it clear to Russia that we will not accept a campaign to overthrow the government. their democratic neighbours.
“Russia must stop its aggressive actions and pursue diplomacy.
“We stand in solidarity with our allies and partners in condemning Russia’s threatening behavior and we will hold Russia to its commitments in Helsinki, Budapest and Minsk.
“Any military attack on Ukraine would be a major strategic mistake with serious costs.
“At the NATO-Russia Council on Wednesday, the UK, along with our allies, will tell Russia that its military build-up on the Ukrainian border is completely unacceptable.”
https://www.thesun.ie/news/8185178/west-must-prepare-worst-russia-putin-back-off/ West must ‘prepare for the worst’ as Russia warns US to back down from Ukraine or ‘endanger’ its security amid World War 3 fears