There have been reports that Russia could be running low on weapons stockpiles after its relentless bombardment of Ukraine, but retired U.S. Air Force Brigadier General Blaine Holt pointed out Sunday that he would be "very cautious" about that assessment considering the recent steps Russia has taken in conjunction with other nations to bolster its capabilities.
"They have this plant that they just built and have commissioned with Iran's help in Russia," Holt, a former U.S. deputy military representative to NATO, said on Newsmax's "Wake Up America." "They are cooperating with North Korea. They're cooperating with Iran, so I would be very cautious before I would say they're going to be out of weapons here soon."
According to new intelligence seen by U.S. and Western security agencies, Moscow and Iran have reached an agreement to start assembling unmanned weapons designed in Iran weapons on Russian soil, The Washington Post reported earlier this month.
Holt noted that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov spoke on Russian television Saturday night, telling the country that the war against Ukraine won't stop until its President Volodymyr Zelinskyy and his government are "taken out."
"He wouldn't be saying those things when already, the Russian people are getting a little dubious of what the possible outcome of the war is going to be," said Holt.
Meanwhile, he said that there will need to be a "really strong push from the West" to bring peace talks and possibly a ceasefire between the two battling nations, as the war is also causing serious energy and food crises in Europe.
"You've got people standing in line for bread in Madrid, Spain," he said. "Everybody's got a reason to want to get to an offering."
Holt also said Sunday that the United States and NATO will have to help Ukraine keep its power grids running, or Europe "will buckle" under the influx of millions of people fleeing Ukraine.
"Russia knows that, and that's why they're using winter as a weapon," said Holt.
However, he said the capabilities are there to help Ukraine keep its power on.
"I love our history and I am an airlift pilot and I will tell you that it is very clear that we have abilities like we did in the Berlin Airlift," said Holt. "We need to be flowing in generators. Microgrids are very best…the last thing we want to see is 10 million people fleeing."
However, he said that Europe is also in "grave trouble" after enacting sanctions against Russian oil back in March that were "ill-thought-out."
"It was very easy to say by the end of the year, no more Russian oil or gas, but that's not working out," said Holt. "Here, the world's most abundant energy nation refuses to produce one more barrel of oil and one more pound of LNG (liquefied natural gas). Meanwhile, you've got 30 tankers filled with LNG right off the Iberian coast. Why aren't they coming into ports? They're waiting for higher prices."
Meanwhile, Putin, at the beginning of the war, wanted to see the European Union broken up and NATO in disarray and now has "a lot of countries finger-pointing, going around the sanctions and [getting] oil in a sneaky way," said Holt. "Even the UK is getting Russian oil. They say they only bought 33 million pounds worth of oil. No, they bought nearly a billion bucks worth of Russian oil. They just got it from other ports in Europe."
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