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Deploying NATO troops in Ukraine could spark World War III, Italian FM warns

Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani

Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani says he does not support deploying NATO troops in Ukraine, warning that the move could spark World War III.

In an interview on Friday, Tajani emphasized the necessity of aiding Ukraine against Russia in their current war, but stressed that sending NATO troops to the ex-Soviet republic to wage war with Russia could ignite yet another world war.

“I don’t think NATO should go into Ukraine. Going in and making war on Russia means risking a Third World war,” said Tajani, whose country has been a NATO member since 1949.

“We are not at war with Russia, we are providing Kiev with all kinds of military, economic, technical tools, but going to war seems to me to be a mistake, and all Italians - and all people with common sense - do not want this,” Italy’s top diplomat added.

Tajani’s comments came hours after French President Emmanuel Macron stressed in an interview that all options were on the table in support of Ukraine and against Russia, including sending troops to Ukraine.

“We have an objective: Russia cannot and must not win,” the French leader said, and when asked whether France – also a NATO member – would deploy troops in Ukraine, he said, “We are not sure we will do it. We are not currently in this situation, but for the moment we are not ruling out the option. I claim to have evoked this possibility.”

The French president has said that France could deploy its troops in Ukraine if Russia again begins to advance on Kiev or Odesa.

Currently, there is a rift among NATO members on sending troops to Ukraine. Members such as Germany, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Poland, Spain, and Italy oppose the idea, while some others, including Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia support it.

Russia has repeatedly warned the West that flooding Ukraine with weapons and munitions will only prolong the conflict, not stopping the Russian troops from reaching their military objective in the region.

Earlier this week, Russian President Vladimir Putin also threatened to use nuclear weapons in case of an existential threat against the Russian Federation.

US running secret influence campaign against Russia: Kremlin

Separately on Thursday, the Kremlin accused Washington of conducting a clandestine influence campaign against Russia, which is holding a presidential election from Friday through Sunday, stressing that Russia’s security services had taken action to diminish its impact.

A recent report alleged that former US president Donald Trump had authorized the Central Intelligence Agency to launch a clandestine campaign on Chinese social media aimed at turning public opinion in China against its government.

Reacting to the report, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov claimed that the United States was also conducting a similar campaign against Moscow.

“One thing I can say is that we have experienced such activities for many years. The United States and the relevant agencies and intelligence services have been doing the same in our country and are still trying to do so,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

Putin’s likely win in the race will allow him to remain in power at least until 2030, longer than any Russian leader since Catherine the Great in the eighteenth century.

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