World War III? Trump warns Biden ‘escalating’ conflict; Zelensky fears Russia-China entente

by WorldTribune Staff, February 21, 2023

If China were to ally with Russia in its conflict with Ukraine, “there will be a world war,” Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky warned on Monday.

“For us, it is important that China does not support the Russian Federation in this war,” Zelensky told Germany’s Die Welt newspaper. “In fact, I would like it to be on our side. At the moment, however, I don’t think it’s possible.”

Joe Biden with Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv on Monday. / Video Image

Zelensky’s comments were published the same day that Joe Biden paid a surprise visit to Kyiv, where he pledged another $500 million in American taxpayer-funded military assistance.

“One year later, Kyiv stands, Ukraine stands, democracy stands,” Biden said after meeting Zelensky at Mariinsky Palace. “The Americans stand with you and the world stands with you.”

On President’s Day, former President Donald Trump connected the dots.

“If you watch and understand the moves being made by Biden on Ukraine, he is systematically, but perhaps unknowingly, pushing us into what could soon be WORLD WAR III,” Trump wrote in a Truth Social post. “How crazy is that?”

Trump has blamed the Biden team for instigating the conflict, saying that if he was president “the Russia-Ukraine war would never have happened … never in a million years.”

Trump accused Biden of “escalating” the war by sending American tanks to Ukraine.

“The situation in Ukraine is very dangerous, explosive, and escalating by the day,” Trump said. “Joe Biden’s weakness and incompetence have brought us to the brink of nuclear war. And now Biden is doing what he said 10 months ago would lead to World War III. He is sending in American tanks.”

On Sunday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told NBC’s “Meet the Press” and that the U.S. was “very concerned that China’s considering providing lethal support to Russia.” He warned China that such a move would have “serious consequences in our relationship.”

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin responded on Monday by saying the U.S. “is in no position to make demands of China.”

Russian leader Vladimir Putin on Tuesday, said he was suspending a bilateral nuclear arms control treaty, announced new strategic systems had been put on combat duty, and warned that Moscow could resume nuclear tests.

In his state-of-the-nation address, Putin declared he was suspending Russia’s participation in the New START treaty — the last remaining nuclear arms control pact with the United States, The Associated Press reported.

Explaining his decision to suspend Russia’s obligations under the 2010 New START treaty, Putin accused the U.S. and its NATO allies of openly declaring the goal of Russia’s defeat in Ukraine.

“They want to inflict a ‘strategic defeat’ on us and try to get to our nuclear facilities at the same time,” he said, declaring his decision to suspend Russia’s participation in the treaty.

Blinken slammed Putin’s move as “deeply unfortunate and irresponsible,” noting that “we’ll be watching carefully to see what Russia actually does.”

“We’ll, of course, make sure that in any event we are postured appropriately for the security of our own country and that of our allies,” Blinked said, adding that “we remain ready to talk about strategic arms limitations at any time with Russia irrespective of anything else going on in the world or in our relationship.”

Putin argued that while the U.S. has pushed for the resumption of inspections of Russian nuclear facilities under New START, NATO allies had helped Ukraine mount drone attacks on Russian air bases hosting nuclear-capable strategic bombers.

The Russian military said that it shot down the Soviet-built drones that struck two bomber bases deep inside Russia in December, but acknowledged that several servicemen were killed by debris that also damaged some aircraft.

Putin on Tuesday mocked NATO’s statement urging Russia to allow the resumption of the U.S. inspections of Russian nuclear weapons sites as “some kind of theater of the absurd.”

“The drones used for it were equipped and modernized with NATO’s expert assistance,” Putin said. “And now they want to inspect our defense facilities? In the conditions of today’s confrontation, it sounds like sheer nonsense.”

Putin described the U.S. push for access to Russian nuclear sites as “the height of hypocrisy and cynicism.”

“They want to inflict a ‘strategic defeat’ on us and at the same time, they keep trying to get to our nuclear facilities,” he charged.

He noted he signed an order a week ago to deploy new land-based strategic missiles and asked: “Are they also going to poke their noses there?”

Putin said Russia should stand ready to resume nuclear weapons tests if the U.S. does so, a move that would end a global ban on nuclear weapons tests in place since the end of the Cold War.

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