NATO has refused to rule out the possibility of Russian use of chemical weapons as part of a deceptive operation in its continued invasion of neighboring Ukraine, the organization’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters in Brussels on Tuesday.
Speaking at a press conference ahead of an extraordinary meeting of NATO defense ministers scheduled for Wednesday, Stoltenberg warned Russian President Vladimir Putin that the use of chemical weapons would be “completely unacceptable” and “runs counter to international obligations.”
“NATO is calling on Russia not to use chemical weapons,” he added.
The secretary general stressed that NATO had been listening to “Russia’s lies” for months, explaining that Moscow had frequently denied its intentions to attack Ukraine and had previously claimed it was withdrawing troops from the border while transporting even more there.
Putin had claimed to be protecting civilians, but the Russian army has been shelling indiscriminately and killing civilians, Stoltenberg continued before making reference to the Russian President’s latest claim that biological laboratories and chemical weapons factories existed in Ukraine, “which is also just another lie.”
In recent days, western analysts, mainly from the U.S. and U.K., have also warned that Vladimir Putin may be planning a false-flag chemical attack as a pretense to deploy its own chemical arsenal, just at did during the civil war in Syria.