Ukraine joining NATO would be trigger for war with Russia


IT’S the nightmare scenario Europe and the rest of the west is dreading — an aggressive Moscow unleashes its military might, plunging Europe and the world into chaos.

But despite fears a potential war would include nuclear weapons, an Australian expert and former spy thinks there is a far more likely outcome. And it’s almost as terrifying.

“The red line in the sand is if NATO makes Ukraine a member,” Professor Paul Dibb, an Australian Russian expert, told

“That will be seen as a call for war.”

That’s the moment that would force Russia’s hand and make war almost inevitable. But Prof Dibb doesn’t agree with a former NATO chief’s prediction that meant Russia would use its nuclear arsenal.

In May, General Sir Richard Shirreff stoked nuclear fears when he warned Europe would be locked in nuclear war with Russia within a year.

An emeritus professor of strategic studies at The Australian National University, Prof Dibb said Russia remains one of the biggest threats to international world order today.

Prof Dibb, who lived a double life as an informer for ASIO against the ­Soviets from 1965 until 1984, said nuclear war with Russia was not an impossibility.

However he maintains the bigger and more likely threat to peace would be the issue of NATO and Ukraine.

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