Vladimir Zhirinovsky: photo: - Wikipedia / Jürg Vollmer / Maiakinfo
“They will be wiped out. Nothing will remain there. The heads of these dwarf states should think who they are,” Zhirinovsky, a deputy speaker of Russia's lower house of parliament (Duma) said in an astonishing outburst on the state-backed Russia 24 TV channel station on Monday.
The 65 year-old leader of the nationalist Liberal Democratic Party of Russia, an opposition politician who is seen as a close ally of the Kremlin, said that the fate of Eastern Europe is in the hands of one man, Vladimir Putin.
“All questions of war and peace in general and in particular those relating to Ukraine will be solved by one person, the head of the Russian Federation,” he said.
“The Baltic States and Poland are doomed. They will be wiped out. Nothing will remain there,” Zhirinovsky said.
On attempts by Polish and other CEE leaders to beef up NATO's defences in the region, the politician, often described as “controversial but charismatic” appeared to predict World War III.
“Of course, nothing threatens America, because it is far away, but Eastern European countries risk being destroyed completely. This is their fault, because we cannot accept planes and missiles to be launched into Russia from their territories. We need to destroy them 30 minutes before the launch.”
A Ukrainian soldier of 'the Donbass' battalion takes up position during an anti terrorist operation against militants, in Maryinka town, near of Donetsk, Ukraine, 11 August 2014. Ukrainian government forces have narrowed the ring around Luhansk and the other rebel stronghold in Donetsk: photo - EPA/ROMAN PILIPEY
Meanwhile, President Vladimir Putin said on Monday Russia is sending an aid convoy to eastern Ukraine despite urgent Western warnings against using humanitarian help as a pretext for an invasion, Reuters reports.
With up to 45,000 Russian troops amassed on Ukraine's border, a Kremlin statement said that Russia, “in collaboration with representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross, is sending an aid convoy to Ukraine”.
President Obama warned Moscow, however, that delivering aid should not be a pretext to invasion.
Jose Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, warned President Putin in a telephone conversation “against any unilateral military actions in Ukraine, under any pretext, including humanitarian," the Commission said in a statement.
According to the UN, over 1,100 people have been killed including government forces, rebels and civilians in the four months since the separatists seized territory in the east of Ukraine and the Kiev government launched its “anti-terrorist” crackdown, with thousands internally displaced.
Kiev says it is in the "final stages" of recapturing the eastern city of Donetsk, in a battle that could mark a turning point in a conflict that has caused the biggest confrontation between Russia and the West since the Cold War. (pg)