‘Not prepared’ Ex-adviser warns UK at risk of ‘tiptoeing into war’ with Russia

Ukraine: UK risks 'crossing the line' with military aid says expert

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Asked by LBC host Andrew Marr if the UK was “tiptoeing into fighting a proxy war”, Lord Ricketts warned NATO could soon be in a “dangerous zone”. But he added the West is “not prepared” for all-out war with Russia.

He told LBC: “I think that is a risk, yes, and so far actually it’s been extremely effective, I think.

“We’ve equipped Ukrainian forces with modern western weapons, they’ve used them very bravely and very effectively, and they’ve really dented the Russian advance if not stalled it completely.

“But I do agree, I think there’s a line beyond which if we start supplying fighter jets or tanks – I see President Zelenksy was calling for that – you know, heavy, armoured equipment of that kind, at some point or other there is a risk that Russia will bomb a convoy taking that equipment into Ukraine, or possibly even – at the worst – bombing it whilst still in Nato territory.

“I think there is a dangerous zone there whereas small, light, man-portable missiles and so on – very effective, and perhaps a bit less of a risk of that.”

Lord Ricketts added: “Are we going to go to war with Russia over chemical weapons use in Ukraine?

“I personally don’t think so.

“I don’t think the west is prepared for all-out war with Russia.

“So Western leaders are left struggling for words which imply very serious consequences without saying what.”

Russian landing ship destroyed near besieged Ukraine city

It comes as Boris Johnson said Ukraine could win the war with Russia.

In an interview with BBC’s Newsnight, he said: “I think Ukraine can certainly win.

“I don’t think it’s going to be easy, I think that the situation for the Ukrainians is grim, miserable.

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“I don’t think that we’ve seen anything like it for 80 years in Europe and what (Vladimir) Putin is doing is unconscionable.

“But there’s a sense in which Putin has already failed or lost because I think that he had literally no idea that the Ukrainians were going to mount the resistance that they are and he totally misunderstood what Ukraine is.

“And far from extinguishing Ukraine as a nation he is solidifying it.”

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