© Johannes Simon/Getty ImagesGerman Defense Minister Boris Pistorius delivers a speech at the 2024 Munich Security Conference
February 17, 2024 • Munich, Germany
Berlin is reportedly engaged in defense planning, despite Moscow's dismissal of any suggestion of a direct conflict with a bloc member...

Russia may attack NATO, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius has claimed in an interview with Bloomberg.

Pistorius was speaking on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference over the weekend. NATO leaders and defense officials met in Germany to discuss current geopolitical challenges, in particular the situation in Ukraine and military aid to Kiev.

Bloomberg quoted Pistorius as saying:
"I can't predict if and when an attack on NATO territory might occur. But it could happen in five to eight years."
According to the outlet, EU countries are increasingly alarmed over Russia's success on the battlefield, the potential reduction in US support for the region, and the fact that they are not prepared for an attack.

On Saturday, Russian forces liberated the key town of Avdeevka in a significant battlefield victory, inflicting heavy casualties on Ukrainian troops.

The Ukrainian defeat came as a $60 billion emergency aid package for the country remains held up in the US Congress.

Quoted by Bloomberg, J.D. Vance, a Republican senator and an opponent of Ukraine aid said in Munich:
"The problem with Europe is it doesn't provide enough of a deterrence on its own because it hasn't taken enough of an initiative. The American security blanket has allowed European security to atrophy."
German tabloid Bild reported last month that the German Defense Ministry was developing a plan of action in case Russia attacks a NATO state following a victory in its conflict with Ukraine. In December, Bild cited the intelligence service of a European country as saying that Russia could attack Europe in the winter of 2024-25.

Russian President Vladimir Putin stressed the same month that Russia has never had plans to attack NATO. The fears of a 'Russian threat' in the EU are being fueled by the US, as Washington fears losing its dominance on the European continent, Putin said.