The West is “blindly” marching towards World War 3, one expert says, and warns one act could trigger a “disastrous” global war.
Henri Guaino, a French politician and senior advisor to the former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, says an “all-out” war could be triggered by treating Putin like Adolf Hitler – an act which would make Russia “the most dangerous country in the world”.
"The moment we compare Russia to Nazi Germany and Putin to Hitler – we must be prepared for an all-out war,” Mr Guaino told Israeli newspaper Israel Hayom.
“It is impossible to stop the war against Hitler. If we are facing someone like Hitler – we have to go all the way, at any price, and we will be walking into a disaster. Alternately – we must find ways out. This is the responsibility of politics.”
Treating Russia like Germany would make it ‘the most dangerous country in the world’
Mr Guaino said it is imperative that history does not repeat itself, and urged the West to change its attitude towards Russia.
“We cannot do to Russia what was done to Germany in World War One, as this turned it into the most dangerous country in the world,” he said.
“If Russia becomes the most dangerous country in the world, the outcome will be disastrous. It has nuclear arsenal, and the Russian nation will be prepared for the worst of all. Saying that we must weaken Russia so that it does not threaten the West again is a repetition of what was said about Germany in 1918.”
While Mr Guaino agrees its true that Russia “bears the main responsibility” for the war, he believes both sides are to blame for escalating the situation and says sanctions and punishments against Russia are causing worldwide instability.
It’s a sentiment echoed by Russia’s former president Dmitry Medvedev, who on Wednesday said crippling sanctions imposed by the West are putting humanity at risk.
"The idea of punishing a country that has one of the largest nuclear potentials is absurd," Medvedev, now deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council, said on social media messaging app Telegram.
"And potentially poses a threat to the existence of humanity".
Russia and the United States control about 90 per cent of the world's nuclear warheads, with around 4000 each in their military stockpiles, according to the Federation of American Scientists.
Australia to face Russia at G20 meeting
Mr Guaino’s comments come as Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Penny Wong prepares to come face-to-face with her Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov for the first time since Russia's invasion in February.
Senator Wong is attending a G20 foreign ministers' meeting in Bali this week, and the talks are expected to be overshadowed by the war in Ukraine and Mr Lavrov's presence.
Russia chose to "denigrate" international relations and multilateralism by invading Ukraine, Senator Wong said.
"If you want an example of a nation which has demonstrated its willingness, its disregard for the need for food security for a world recovering from a pandemic, it is Russia," she told reporters in Bali on Thursday.
"It is Russia in its persistent refusal to comply with the UN charter and international law, and its illegal, immoral invasion of Ukraine.
"We will be making very clear collectively our views about Russia's position and behaviour."
Russia's ambassador to Australia said the relationship between the two countries had reached its lowest point in decades because of the government's support of Ukraine.
"Whatever co-operation we had has been destroyed by the Australian side without really giving much thought to what Australia's interests were," Russian ambassador Aleksey Pavlovsky told ABC radio on Thursday.
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