(breitbart) – Allowing Ukraine to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) would result in a “guaranteed escalation to World War Three”, Russian Security Council Deputy Secretary Alexander Venediktov said on Thursday.
Following last month’s annexation of four breakaway regions in the Donbas region of Easter Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelensky requested a “fast-tracked” admission into the US-led NATO military alliance.
In an interview with the Russian state news agency TASS, Security Council Deputy Secretary Alexander Venediktov said that he believed the accession request from Ukraine was nothing more than a “propaganda move”.
However, should Ukraine actually be accepted into the Western alliance, Venediktov said that “Kiev is well aware that such a step would mean a guaranteed escalation to World War Three.”
“Apparently, that’s what they are counting on – to create informational noise and draw attention to themselves once again,” the Russian security tsar said, adding: “But given that many members of the Kiev regime are out of touch with reality, I wouldn’t be surprised if some people out there really expect their country to be admitted to NATO.”
Venediktov said that the members of NATO understand the “suicidal nature” of allowing Ukraine into the alliance and therefore he did not expect “serious” powers to allow such a move to occur as it would lead to a potential triggering of Article Five of the treaty, which mandates that other alliance members come to the defence of any other member state in an attack.
“We are also aware that, despite statements about not being involved in the events in Ukraine, the real actions taken by Westerners show that they are a direct party to the conflict,” the official said.
“In any case, Russia’s position remains unchanged: Ukraine’s accession to NATO or some other alliances formed under the auspices of the United States is unacceptable for us,” the Deputy Secretary of the Russian Security Council concluded.
While there has been some movement towards Ukraine joining the European Union, NATO membership is likely a distant prospect at best given the requirement for all 30 members to give their consent to the accession, including countries like Hungary, which would likely oppose the move.
Nevertheless, the threats of World War III come amid a broader escalation in rhetoric from both Russia and the West over the conflict in Ukraine.
Last week, President Joe Biden shocked the world by saying: “We have not faced the prospect of Armageddon since [President] Kennedy and the  Cuban missile crisis. I don’t think there’s any such thing as the ability to easily use a tactical nuclear weapon and not end up with Armageddon.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin has hinted that he would be willing to use tactical nuclear strikes, saying that he would use “all the means at our disposal” to defend Russia and that the United States had already set the precedent of using nuclear weapons during the Second World War.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Zelensky has called on NATO to launch nuclear “preemptive strikes” on the Russian mainland in order to “make it impossible for Russia to use nuclear weapons.”
The warnings of a potential third World War from the Russian security tsar also came just one day after NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg called on member states to increase shipments of weapons to Ukraine so that the country “can continue to defend themselves, and liberate territory from Russian occupation.”
The former Norwegian prime minister admitted that NATO has been “playing a key role” in helping Ukraine in its war effort but said that Western powers must supply Ukraine with advanced air defence systems, artillery, ammunition, armoured vehicles, and anti-tank weapons, as well as non-lethal aid, including food and warm clothing for the winter months.