US General Mark Milley told CNN the ‘global international security order’ is at stake following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

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The top US general spoke exclusively to CNN following a meeting hosted by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin with allied nations at Ramstein Air Base in Germany. Austin brought the countries together to discuss the current situation in Ukraine.

“If this remains unchanged, if there is no response to this aggression, if Russia gets away with it at no cost, then the so-called international order goes away, and if this happens, then we we are entering an era of seriously heightened instability,” Milley said.

“What is at stake is the world order of international security which was put in place in 1945. This international order lasted 78 years, it prevented the war of the great powers, and which underlines all this concept is the idea that large nations will not carry out military aggression against smaller nations, and that is exactly what happened here, an unprovoked military aggression by Russia against a small nation “, he added.

Milley’s warning about the potential global implications of Russia’s actions in Ukraine also underscores the current sense of urgency felt by the United States and its allies as the war enters what it says is a critical moment.

“We do not have time to lose”

Shortly after Milley’s interview, Austin also stressed the importance of moving quickly to provide Ukraine with the military assistance it needs, telling a press conference that the United States and other allies and partners “have no time to lose” when it comes to providing crucial aid to counter Russia as its invasion continues.

“We have no time to waste. Today’s briefings made it clear why the coming weeks will be so crucial for Ukraine, so we must move at the speed of war. And I know that all leaders leave today more determined than ever to support Ukraine in its fight against Russian aggression and atrocities,” Austin said.

Austin noted Germany’s commitment to send 50 Cheetah anti-aircraft systems to Ukraine, announced Tuesday. The British government announced it would also provide additional anti-aircraft capabilities to Ukraine, and Canada announced it would provide Ukraine with eight armored vehicles, Austin said.

“I applaud every country that has stood up and is rising to meet this demand,” Austin added.

Austin also said he thinks Ukraine will “seek to apply for NATO membership again” in the future.

“I think NATO will always stick to its principles of keeping the door open, so I don’t want to speculate on what might happen,” he said at the press conference.

Austin reiterated that one of the goals of the United States is “to make it harder for Russia to threaten its neighbors and to make them less able to do so.”

“Their ground forces were saddened in a very big way. The casualties are quite significant. They lost a lot of equipment. They used a lot of precision-guided munitions. They lost a major surface combatant. And so, they are, in fact, in terms of military capability, weaker than when they started,” Austin said.

Austin also pointed out how international sanctions against Russia would make it harder for Moscow to replace that lost military capability.

“Completely irresponsible” nuclear denunciations

Milley also slammed Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday for his recent comments about the danger of nuclear war, saying it was “completely irresponsible” for any senior leader of a nuclear power to start “stirring a nuclear saber”.

“Any time a top leader of a nation state starts waving a nuclear saber, then everyone takes it seriously,” Milley said in his interview with CNN.

Lavrov said Monday that nuclear deterrence is Russia’s “principle position”, but he added: “The danger is serious, it is real, it cannot be underestimated.”

Milley said the U.S. military is monitoring Russia’s nuclear threat with “friends and allies.”

CNN reported earlier this month that the US military is constantly monitoring Russia’s nuclear arsenal as the war in Ukraine continues and that Austin is briefed two or three times a week by the top US general who oversees the US nuclear weapons and defenses.

The United States has seen no indication that Russia has taken steps to prepare nuclear weapons for use in the war, but two sources familiar with recent intelligence assessments have previously told CNN that US officials are more concerned. by the threat that Russia will use them at any time. since the Cold War.

CNN’s Henry Klapper contributed to this story.

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