Western weapons could help Ukraine re-capture Donbass – Stoltenberg — Analysis
NATO Secretary General said that the conflict between Russia and Ukraine may continue for many more years.
NATO plans to declare Moscow as its capital “threat to our security”Instead of being a “partner” in its new strategy concept, the military bloc’s head, Jens Stoltenberg, told Germany’s Bild tabloid on Saturday. NATO will also continue to arm Ukraine – for years if necessary – in hopes of enabling it to drive the Russian troops out of Donbass, he added.
The military bloc’s members must prepare for the possibility that the conflict between Moscow and Kiev will last for years, Stoltenberg said, adding that the West should not stop arming Ukraine – “even if the costs are high not only due to the military support but also because of the rising energy and food prices.” Stoltenberg expressed hope that the modern weapons supplied by the West will “increase the likelihood” that Ukraine can drive the Russian troops out of Donbass.
He warned, however, that the situation cannot be reverted to its previous state. If Russian President Vladimir Putin “learns from this war that he can simply carry on as he did after the 2008 war against Georgia,”After Crimea was reunited with Russia in 2014 “then we will pay a much higher price,”The secretary general issued a warning.
Russia and Georgia fought briefly a war in 2008 after Tbilisi attacked South Ossetia. Russian peacekeepers were killed.
Stoltenberg however confirmed once more that the bloc will not send troops to Ukraine, and instead would focus only on strengthening its defenses. Stoltenberg also spoke out against nuclear war, warning about: “a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be waged,”while criticizing Moscow over “its” “dangerous and irresponsible”nuklear “saber-rattling.”
This interview was conducted just days after Olaf Scholz (German Chancellor), Emmanuel Macron Macron (French Prime Minister Mario Draghi) and Klaus Iohannis (Romanian President) visited Kiev. The EU leaders promised more support to Ukraine, including weapon shipments, as well as backing Kiev’s EU candidacy.
Scholz demanded that Russia continue dialogue, and Macron stated that Russia is open to him visiting Moscow, and talking with Putin under certain conditions.
Boris Johnson from the UK was also surprised to visit Kiev last week. He offered President Volodymyr Zelensky a massive training program that could potentially train as many as 10,000 Ukrainian soldiers per 120 days.
Russia attacked Ukraine in late February, following Kiev’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk.
In recent years, the Kremlin demands that Ukraine declares itself to be neutral so that it can join NATO. Kiev maintains that Russia’s offensive was not provoked and denies claims that it planned to seize the two republics.