US senator warns of possible Russian strike 'inside Poland’

A senior US senator has claimed that Russia may strike distribution points supplying war-torn Ukraine, “including inside Poland.”

Marco Rubio.

Marco Rubio.PAP/EPA/Anna Rose Layden

Marco Rubio made the remark in an interview with broadcaster CNN, Poland’s website reported on Monday.

Rubio, who serves as Vice Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said he was worried about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “unpredictability” amid Ukraine’s successful counter-offensive.

On Sunday, Ukrainian forces liberated the key city of Lyman in the eastern Donbas region, news outlets reported.

’The thing I worry most about is a Russian attack inside NATO territory’

The US senator stated that if Putin “decides that the NATO arming and the European arming and the US arming of Ukraine is causing not just him to lose his war and therefore undermine his grip on power, but in fact perhaps threatening his own forces inside of Russia, I think it’s quite possible that he could end up striking some of these distribution places where the supplies are coming through, including inside Poland.”

Rubio added: “The thing I worry most about is a Russian attack inside NATO territory, for example aiming at an airport in Poland or some other distribution point.”

“NATO would have to respond to it,” he told CNN.

Putin’s view of war ‘absolutely wrong’: NATO chief

Meanwhile, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Sunday that Putin’s portrayal of the conflict in Ukraine is “absolutely wrong.”

Stoltenberg told US broadcaster NBC News: “[Putin] has tried again and again to tell a story that NATO is party to the conflict and that NATO caused this conflict. That’s absolutely wrong.”

‘War was Putin’s choice’

The NATO chief added: “First of all, this is a war that President Putin has started. It’s a war by his choice.”

Stoltenberg went on to say: “Second, NATO’s not party to this conflict. What we do is that we provide support to Ukraine, an independent, sovereign nation in Europe, that has the right to defend itself against a war of aggression.”

‘NATO will continue to provide support to Ukraine’

He stressed that “this is a right actually enshrined in the U.N. Charter, and therefore we will continue to provide support to Ukraine to defend themselves.”

Stoltenberg said that Ukrainian forces “have been able to take a new town, Lyman. And that demonstrates that the Ukrainians are making progress, are able to push back the Russian forces because of their courage, because of their bravery and skills.”

He added: “But, of course, also because of the advanced weapons that the United States and other allies are providing. And this is making a difference on the battlefield every day.”

The NATO chief also said that “the best way to respond” to Putin’s attempts to annex parts of Ukraine “is to do exactly what we do now, not least the United States, demonstrating leadership in providing support to Ukraine.”

“And we will continue to support Ukraine with military equipment, economic, financial support,” he declared.

’Any use of nuclear weapons will have severe consequences for Russia’

Stoltenberg told NBC News that NATO had “clearly conveyed to President Putin that any use of nuclear weapons will have severe consequences for Russia. It will, of course, totally change the nature of the conflict.”

Referring to Ukraine’s request for fast-track NATO membership, Stoltenberg said that “any decision on [NATO] membership has to be taken by consensus. All 30 allies have to agree to make such a decision.”

Monday is day 222 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.



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