Russia wants to control energy reserves of all former Soviet countries, Mike Pompeo says – POLITICO


Russia’s war against Ukraine is a “planned genocide” and aimed at creating “a new Russian empire that seeks to become a rump Soviet Union,” with extensive energy reserves, former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.

Delivering a speech at the Hudson Institute, a conservative, Washington-based think tank, on Wednesday, Pompeo said that “Putin’s illegal, assaultive war represents a planned genocide, which is the deliberate obliteration of a people, as defined in 1948 by the United Nations.”

A Republican who served as secretary of state from 2018 until 2021 during Donald Trump’s presidency and has hinted he will contest the next presidential election in 2024, Pompeo also said that Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to seize the energy resources of the former Soviet territories.

“If Russia is allowed dominion over the Donbas and Ukraine’s coast, Putin will next seek to control the energy resources of other independent countries that were once part of the Soviet Empire,” he said.

Helping Ukraine, he continued, was essential to preventing “Russia’s reconstitution of the Soviet Empire, which would dictate world fossil fuel supplies, causing economic hemorrhaging in America and throughout the globe.”

Warning against the scenario of a Russian energy superpower, he said the West ought to acknowledge the geostrategic significance of energy, adding that unless Putin is stopped, “today’s ruinous prices at the pump will be remembered as a time when gas was cheap.”

He advocated the formation of “a new, global alliance for freedom, which must contest both Russian and Chinese aggression,” and a new security architecture with hubs in Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan.

Stressing his belief that the US “should never again fight another nation’s war,” Pompeo argued that it was in Washington’s own security interest to support Ukraine, thus preventing “a larger European war that would involve America’s military due to our Article 5 treaty commitment to the integrity of the NATO member states.”

Pompeo also dismissed the notion that appeasing Moscow could do any good. “NATO solidarity is essential. Germany and France must not defer to any of the Kremlin’s wishes,” he said, while endorsing all kinds of arms deliveries to Kyiv.

“America has large numbers of Abrams tanks in storage; a significant portion should be immediately made ready for employment in Ukraine,” he said, adding that “it is crucial that Spain follow through in sending Leopard 2 tanks.” He also advocated for sending the US-made Patriot surface-to-air missile system to Kyiv, arguing that “the present, Soviet-era, S-300 system is not enough.”

In a Q&A after his speech, Pompeo, who was speaking in front of an audience that included several European ambassadors and diplomats, also insisted that Europe must do more for its own security.

“Europeans have to step up. This is an imperative … it’s not Donald Trump reading the riot act to the Europeans, it’s not Mike Pompeo giving [former German Foreign Minister] Heiko Maas a hard time. This is serious stuff,” he said, adding that while he means “no malintent to any of the European peoples,” they no longer ought to relax while the US takes care of their security.

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