Putin has ‘messianic obsession’ with Russian greatness, former Nato chief says

Lord Robertson warns West against ‘provoking’ Russian president into more ‘reckless violence’

Matt Mathers
Wednesday 18 May 2022 18:22 BST
Ukrainian soldiers evacuated from Mariupol steelworks arrive in Russian-controlled town

The West should avoid “provoking” Vladimir Putin into “even more reckless violence” in Ukraine, a former Nato secretary general has said as he warned the Russian president has developed a “messianic obsession” with his country’s greatness due to periods of isolation during the Covid pandemic.

Lord Robertson of Port Ellen, who led the North Atlantic military alliance from 1999 to 2003, said that “words matter” when it comes to a “thin-skinned” Putin, who he said had developed a “dangerous mindset” over the past two years and could escalate his attacks in Ukraine in response to hostile rhetoric from western countries.

The Labour peer, who has met Putin on several occasions, made the comments in a lecture on the future of European security.

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