Russian oligarch warns Putin will invade NATO territory

Written by Javed Iqbal

Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a self-proclaimed Russian oligarch and a prominent critic of the Kremlin, said in a Thursday interview that the Russian president Vladimir Putin will eventually wage war NATO territory if the coalition does not help Ukraine win in the current conflict.

Khodorkovsky made the warning during an interview with Euronews, a television network headquartered in France. He called on NATO to continue providing the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky with weapons and supplies to fight Russia’s military, which began its invasion in late February.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has condemned Putin for his attack on Ukraine, and he reiterated the organization’s support for Ukraine during a Wednesday conversation with Politico. He said NATO had a “political and moral obligation to provide substantial support” to Zelensky’s country and would continue to provide weapons to Ukraine.[a]as long as necessary. “

However, Putin has used possible NATO enlargement as a reason to justify his invasion of Ukraine Finland and Sweden both sought to join the alliance after the outbreak of war. He has that too warned the organization and the United States to become directly involved in the war.

Khodorkovsky told Shona Murray of Euronews, “Today, NATO has a great opportunity to help Ukraine defend its sovereignty by participating in this war with weapons, supplies and training of Ukrainian soldiers, instead of fighting on its own territories.

“If this opportunity is missed, I issue a warning: In a few years, or perhaps even sooner, NATO will be directly involved in this war because it will take place on the territory of a NATO country.”

Mikhail Khodorkovsky seen at a press conference
Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a Russian oligarch who served 10 years in prison for opposing President Vladimir Putin, said NATO risked war on its territory if Russia succeeds in Ukraine. This photo shows Khodorkovsky during a press conference in London on November 20, 2018.
Photo by DANIEL LEAL / AFP via Getty Images

At one point, Khodorkovsky was the richest man in Russia thanks to a significant oil fortune, but then he began to openly criticize Putin. He founded the pro-democracy Open Russia organization in 2001, only to be arrested by Russian authorities in 2003 for tax evasion. He was found guilty in 2005 and sentenced to nine years in prison. Charges of embezzlement and money laundering were added to his sentence in 2010, extending his prison sentence. After some high-profile lobbying, however, Putin pardoned Khodorkovsky and released him in late 2013.

When Murray asked Khodorkovsky whether he believes NATO should be directly involved in Ukraine, he replied that the alliance must do everything it can to ensure that Putin does not win.

“Those who think you can somehow reach an agreement with an aggressor are repeating the mistakes of their many predecessors,” he said.

Khodorkovsky also said he does not believe sanctions against Russia have had much of an impact. He said that while sanctions “could weaken the regime so that this aggression would not be reproduced for some time”, the problems between Russia and Ukraine are “being resolved on the battlefield.”

Khodorkovsky further added that the weapons and supplies that NATO has sent to Ukraine are insufficient compared to the significant amount of weapons in Putin’s arsenal.

“If NATO wants it to be resolved on Ukrainian territory, then of course it must provide much more systematic support,” he said.

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Javed Iqbal

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