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Russia Ready For Possible Entry Of Western Forces Into The Ukraine War, Says Lavrov

FILE PHOTO: Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov attends a military parade on Victory Day, which marks the 79th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two, in Red Square in Moscow, Russia, May 9, 2024. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov/File Photo

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov stated that Russia was prepared for the possible entry of Western forces who want to fight for Ukraine. Lavrov who was quoted by the RIA state-run news agency said. “It’s their right – if they want it to be on the battlefield, it will be on the battlefield.”

Lavrov was speaking in reaction to President Macron’s remarks in February where the French president had told a press conference that he did not rule out sending Russian troops. Though Macron’s statement was discredited, with major nations such as the US, UK and other Nato countries distancing themselves from it, there is a concern within Moscow that the idea may be revived as Ukraine is suffering huge losses in the battlefield.

The reason is another Macron statement. In an interview to The Economist in May the French president said.  “I have a clear strategic objective: Russia cannot win in Ukraine. If Russia wins in Ukraine, there will be no security in Europe. Who can pretend that Russia will stop there?”

Macron’s remarks are causing even more concern within Moscow as Ukraine is now openly admitting that it is grappling with a lack of manpower. Kyiv has recently passed a new mobilisation law, and the country’s defence ministry spokesperson, Dmitry Lazutkin, said in an interview with local media on Saturday that Ukrainians needed to “make sacrifices” and “forget about leading peaceful lives.”

The mobilisation law, which was recently passed by the Ukrainian Parliament, and signed into law by President Zelensky, has introduced changes in recruitment to boost the number of fighting men.

These changes include lowering the draft age to 25, automating summons, and granting enlistment officers expanded powers while imposing various restrictions for draft dodgers. Additionally, the country’s Foreign Ministry has suspended consular services for military-eligible Ukrainians abroad ensuring that every able-bodied Ukrainian is eligible to serve.

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But the rising casualty rate in Ukraine (though official figures are not known) and the seizing by Moscow of large swathes of Ukrainian territory has left the West with a crucial decision to make in this new phase of the war.

President Putin had warned the West in March that a direct conflict between Russia and the U.S.-led NATO military alliance would mean the planet was one step away from World War III.

“It is clear to everyone, that this will be one step away from a full-scale World War Three. I think hardly anyone is interested in this,” Putin told reporters after his landslide victory. He added that he believed Nato forces were already there in Ukraine because Russian troops had picked up French and English being spoken.

“There is nothing good in this, first of all for them, because they are dying there and in large numbers,” he said.

(Reuters and other agencies)