Expert warns Putin will start World War 3 if EU countries cross key red line

Expert warns Putin will start World War 3 if EU countries cross key red line

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GB News
Holly Bishop

By Holly Bishop

Published: 01/04/2024

- 18:19

Swedish Lieutenant Colonel Joakim Paasikivi said Putin's threats must be taken seriously

Putin will retaliate if the EU goes forward with a plan to give Ukraine F-16 jets, an expert has cautioned.

Swedish Lieutenant Colonel Joakim Paasikivi of the Stockholm Defence University told Swedish news agency TT: “If Putin wants a war with NATO, that’s how you start it. Then it will be a third world war.”

Whilst Putin dismissed claims last week that Russia would attack Nato states, he did say that if some EU nations gave jets to Ukraine, those countries could come under threat.

He said: “Of course, if they are used from the airfields of third countries, they become a legitimate target for us, wherever they are.”


Putin would start World War Three if EU countries go forward with a plan to give Ukraine F-16 jets


Putin told the Russian state news agency TASS that since the US-manufactured planes can carry nuclear weapons, Moscow must “take this into account”.

Paasikivi said that whilst most of the threats were purely rhetorical, they must still be taken seriously.

“For Putin, it is important to constantly present the West as the major threat to the domestic audience. The West’s so-called nuclear threat is at the centre of the entire Russian narrative,” he explained.

He said that the Kremlin is creating a narrative where the West is the aggressor and Russia is the victim.


Speaking to air force pilots last week, the Russian president maintained that there are "no aggressive intentions" towards countries such as Poland or the Baltic states.

However, Paasikivi believes that Putin is worried about Ukraine being given the F-16s by nations such as Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway and Belgium.

Ukrainian pilots are receiving training ahead of the delivery of the jets and Paasikivi believes that Putin is aware of how much the jets will bolster the Ukrainian army’s forces.

“The Kremlin is being a bit more forceful. The same threats have been made in the past, but to so explicitly identify the F-16s and strike targets in the West is new.”, he said, adding that the Russians feel compelled to try to “scare the West into obedience”.

“Russia has started the biggest war in Europe since the Second World War and is waging it ruthlessly, without following the laws of war. We cannot trust Russia,” he said.

\u200bAn F-16 fighter jetAn F-16 fighter jetGetty

It comes after Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said that there is a “real” threat of conflict between the West and Russia.

The former President of the European Council has warned that Ukraine must not be defeated by Russia for the good of the whole of Europe.

Tusk told a press conference alongside his Ukrainian counterpart Denys Shmyhal in Warsaw: “I know it sounds devastating, especially to people of the younger generation, but we have to mentally get used to the arrival of a new era. The pre-war era.

“I don't want to scare anyone, but war is no longer a concept from the past....It is real, in fact it already started more than two years ago.

“We must be ready. Europe still has a long way to go.”

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