New fears of Russian escalation across Europe have emerged after a German think tank said Western countries must prepare for a direct attack from Russia.
“Once intensive fighting will have ended in Ukraine, the regime in Moscow may need as little as six to ten years to reconstitute its armed forces.
“Within that timeframe, Germany and Nato must enable their armed forces to deter and, if necessary, fight against Russia. Only then will they be in a position to reduce the risk of another war breaking out in Europe.”
Jacek Siewiera suggested that an attack could come from Nato’s eastern flank which includes countries such as Poland, Estonia, Romania and Lithuania. He estimated they had three years to prepare for a confrontation.
The minister said that analysts at the German think tank were too optimistic.
“If we want to avoid war, Nato countries on the eastern flank should adopt a shorter, three-year time horizon to prepare for confrontation.
“This is the time when a potential must be created on the eastern flank that would be a clear signal deterring aggression. Therefore, it is necessary to further increase the number of Polish troops.”
It comes as the White House warned that the US was running out of money to support Ukraine’s defence and could be out of resources “by the end of the year” after supporting the nation’s defensive military action following a full-scale invasion by Russia for almost two years.
However, Lord George Robertson, a former Nato secretary general warned that “the world’s attention must stay on Ukraine”, stating that any distraction from the conflict would benefit Vladimir Putin and nobody else.
Just weeks ago, Lord Robertson warned against Western nervousness of Russian escalation.
He said: “Instead of the West being nervous of Russian escalation...we need to breed in the military hierarchy in Moscow the worry that if they overdo what is being done in Ukraine then an actual and not fictious war with Nato might be the result.”