British cabinet minister Sajid Javid sent Russia a severe warning on Monday, stating that should even “a single toecap of a Russian soldier” enter allied territory, the country would face war with NATO. 

“We have been very clear, even before the war started, that if there was an attack on any NATO country, even if just a single toecap of a Russian soldier steps into NATO territory then it will be war with NATO and NATO would respond,” Javid said in an interview with the UK’s Sky News on Monday.

Javid’s remarks come one day after Russia attacked a Ukrainian military complex in Yavoriv, just 15 miles (24km) from Poland, one of the 30 NATO allies. 

“This step taken by Russia we consider as highly provocative as it is so close to our borders,” Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Marcin Przydacz told Sky News on Sunday.

“I do believe that the Russian army knows very well where the border is, and this is not only the border between Poland and Ukraine but between NATO and a non-NATO country,” Przydacz continued. 

Russia fired more than 30 rockets at the military complex, known as the International Peacekeeping and Security Center, killing 35 people and injuring 134 others, according to USA Today. 

Javid also said Putin will be “held responsible” for war crimes in Ukraine at the International Criminal Court in the Hague, The Guardian reported. 

“These are appalling atrocities committed on innocent civilians in Ukraine by the Russians,” Javid said of Russian bombings of civilian areas, specifically hospitals, adding that the World Health Organization has documented 31 attacks on health facilities in the conflict so far. 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned that “it is only a matter of time” before Russian missiles fall on NATO territory, urging the bloc to implement a non-fly zone over Ukraine. A no-fly zone would give NATO allies the power to shoot down any Russian plane in Ukrainian airspace. The Biden administration has condemned such action, warning that a no-fly zone would only escalate the war and lead to volatile –potentially nuclear – conflict between Russia and NATO. 

“That is definitely escalatory, that would potentially put us in a place where we are in a military conflict with Russia. That is not something [President Joe Biden] wants to do,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told MSNBC. “Those are all the reasons why that’s not a good idea.”

           

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