RUSSIAN Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has warned of the ‘real’ danger of World War III breaking out, as 40 capitalist states met in Germany to step up the arming of Ukraine’s military to fight Russia.
The meeting, called by the US at its Ramstein airbase in southwestern Germany, was ‘focused on doing things to generate additional capability and capacity for the Ukrainian forces’, said Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin following his visit last Sunday to Kiev.
Speaking to the Russian media, Lavrov accused NATO of fighting a proxy war by supplying military aid to Ukraine. ‘NATO, in essence, is engaged in a war with Russia through a proxy and is arming that proxy. War means war,’ Lavrov said. He warned that the risks of nuclear conflict are now ‘considerable’.
When asked about the importance of avoiding a Third World War, Lavrov said: ‘I would not want to elevate those risks artificially. Many would like that. The danger is serious, real. And we must not underestimate it.’
Meanwhile, the UK Armed Forces Minister James Heappey has revealed the tactic for spreading the war throughout Europe. He has said it is ‘entirely legitimate’ for Ukraine to carry out strikes within Russia to disrupt its supply lines.
He was speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme following Lavrov’s warnings about Nato supplying weapons to Ukraine. Heappey said the West has been very careful about the donation of military aid, saying it was not a ‘purely Nato endeavour’.
Asked about reports that Ukraine has targeted a fuel depot inside Russian territory, Heappey continued: ‘The question is, is it acceptable for our weapons to be used against legitimate Russian military targets by the Ukrainians?
‘Firstly, it’s Ukrainians that take the targeting decision, not the people who manufacture or export the kit in the first place. And secondly, it is entirely legitimate to go after targets in the depth of your opponent’s territory to disrupt their logistics and supply lines.’ This is obviously the road to World War III!
Lavrov’s warning came after Austin and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken paid a top secret visit to Kiev on Sunday and promised to supply more arms to Ukraine.
On returning from the trip on Monday, Austin told journalists in Poland: ‘We believe that we can win, they can win if they have the right equipment, the right support.’
The US is already the biggest supplier of international military aid to Ukraine. And Austin pledged to do ‘everything that we can to get them the types of support, the types of artillery and munitions that will be effective in this stage of the fight.’
Kiev is seeking heavy artillery and tanks to repel Russian forces trying to seize complete control of its vast southern plains and the eastern region of Donbass.
At the invitation of the US, 40 countries – including the traditionally neutral countries of Sweden and Finland – met in Germany yesterday to discuss providing Ukraine with scores of long-range and heavy weapons.
Austin also told journalists in Poland on Monday that sending artillery to Ukraine aims to degrade Russian forces over the longer term. Mike Jacobson, a US civilian expert in field artillery, predicted that western military aid to Ukraine would lead to a ‘war of attrition’ in which Ukraine could halt Russian advances.
The reality of the war crisis of the imperialist powers is that capitalism is in a desperate and growing economic and political crisis, and war is their only way out.
The capitalists fear that they have been overtaken by Russia and China and that if they just stand by and watch, capitalism will be history and they will be deposited in its dustbin. So they are prepared to carry out even the most desperate measures if it will mean their survival.
The UK ruling class have, after much resistance, ended their relations with the Russian oligarchs who lived in London and got as far as joining the Tory Party, owning news- papers and, in one case, joining the House of Lords.
Russia has now been restored as enemy number one whose economy has to be destroyed if the UK ruling class is to survive.
The British ruling class has now heaped so many sanctions onto Russia that the British economy has seen huge increases in food and raw material prices.
The cost of living for workers is rocketing upwards. The British ruling class knows that to beat Russia the British working class will have to be starved and make huge sacrifices.
The imperialist drive to war is now well under way. It is on two fronts, in the Ukraine and beyond, and at home where workers will have to learn to eat a lot less as prices soar.
Workers, however, will not stand for savage attacks on their living standards and families. They will fight back against the UK ruling class. In the days ahead the working class must organise a general strike to bring down the Tory government and bring in a workers’ government that will expropriate the bosses, nationalise the economy and end the war drive against Russia and China. This is the only way forward!