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'Nowhere to Retreat': Poland, Baltic NATO States Ready Troops for War with Russia Amid WWIII Worries

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May 30 2024, Published 11:04 a.m. ET

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Poland and several Baltic NATO states have indicated that they are ready to send troops into Ukraine if Russia succeeds in making a major breakthrough during the warring country's latest assault.

Knewz.com reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin is now overseeing renewed fighting in the northern section of Ukraine, with Kharkiv and its surrounding regions under attack.

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The latest efforts made by Russian forces in the ongoing Ukraine war have increased concerns among the neighboring Baltic states that Putin could put them in the crosshairs if he succeeds with his "special military operation" in Ukraine.

Compounding the issue, Ukraine has received tepid support from Germany, with Chancellor Olaf Scholz denying Ukraine permission to attack Russia with German-made weapons.

In a recent interview with Tagesschau television, Scholz said it was his intention to stay firm on his weapons policy. "There are clear rules that have been agreed with Ukraine and that apply to the supply of German weapons. At least, that is my position," the German chancellor said in the interview.

Scholz added that the policy is aimed at preventing the conflict "from escalating into a major war."

The United States had imposed a similar policy in regard to American weapons. A recent report from The New York Times cited by Business Insider, however, notes the White House is currently debating rolling back the restriction, which could give Ukraine a significant edge over Russia.

Now, members of parliament for the Baltic States, reportedly concerned with the German policy, voiced their concerns to the European country's officials at the Lennart Meri Conference on foreign and security policy in Tallinn, according to The Daily Express.

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The outlet cited a report from Der Spiegel that stated MPs from the Baltic States have warned representatives of Berlin that they are ready to send troops to Ukraine if Russia is successful in the latest assault.

"[The Baltic states] argue that if the Russians manage to make a strategic breakthrough in eastern Ukraine because the West is only half-heartedly helping Kyiv, the situation could escalate dramatically," the report states, according to The Daily Express. "In that case, the Baltic states and Poland would not wait for Russian troops to deploy on their borders, Baltic politicians warned, but would send troops to Ukraine themselves."

The move would result in NATO becoming a direct participant in the war. In November 2023, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov warned that the Kremlin is ready and willing for war with NATO.

"The choice is entirely on the side of NATO," Ryabkov had said in an interview with Russian media outlet Izvestia. "We are ready, as it has already been demonstrated, to defend our national interests with all the means at our disposal."

In March, ambassadors to the United States from the Baltic states Estonia Latvia and Lithuania sounded the alarm, advising Putin could launch an "existential war" in the region.

Estonian ambassador Viljar Lubi, Latvian ambassador Ivita Burmistre, and Lithuania’s charge d’affaire Lina Zigmantaite wrote about the potential threat n a joint article in The Telegraph on the 20th anniversary of their respective countries becoming part of NATO.

"We are acutely aware that Russia’s war economy and battle-hardened military can pivot quickly from south to west... We agree with intelligence assessments that a sharp strategic challenge to our defense and deterrence could come in as little as three years or even less. We on the east side of the Baltic Sea have few natural frontiers, and nowhere to retreat to," the diplomats wrote in The Telegraph at the time.

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