The defence secretary, Ben Wallace, doesn’t seem to be the sort of chap to indulge in hype, so his warning about chances of a wider war in Europe, one for which Ukraine is a mere rehearsal, should be heeded.
It is perfectly plausible that, by accident or design, the conflict in Ukraine could spill over into a larger war in eastern Europe, moving Russian forces into the Baltic republics, the eastern Balkans and Poland – and ever closer to Germany. After all, not so long ago, many wise heads and intelligence chiefs believed the Russian army’s manoeuvres were a bluff.
Sweden and Finland, still outside Nato, are obviously also at risk. It is a terrible blunder, in that context, for Turkey’s President Erdogan to veto their membership and alienate his Nato partners. He should know that Turkey may soon need its Western allies to help it resist Russian bullying in and around the Black Sea and the Caucasus. President Erdogan may also soon find that the supposed Kurdish terrorists plotting away in Helsinki and Stockholm are the least of his problems.
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