NATO Secretary General warned that Vladimir Putin is preparing Russia for “a long war” against Ukraine List of codes

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (REUTERS/Michele Tantussi)

Russia is preparing for a long war against Ukraine, to which NATO will continue to supply weapons until President Vladimir Putin understands that “he cannot win on the battlefield”he told the news agency on Friday AFP the head of the Atlantic Alliance, Jens Stoltenberg.

Nearly ten months after Russia invaded the Ukraine, kyiv forces inflicted a series of defeats on Moscow that liberated parts of the territory. But “There is nothing to indicate that Putin has given up his goal of controlling Ukraine”warned the secretary general of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

“We must not underestimate Russia. Prepare for a long war.”, Stoltenberg declared to the AFP. “We see that it mobilizes more forces, is willing to suffer many losses and tries to access more weapons and ammunition,” he stressed.

“We must understand that President Putin is ready to stay in this war for a long time and launch new offensives,” he said.

NATO countries, led by the United States, supplied Ukraine with billions of dollars worth of weapons that helped it resist Russia.

“Most likely, this war will end at the negotiating table, like most wars”says Stoltenberg.

Any solution will have to ensure that “Ukraine prevails as a sovereign and independent nation,” he insisted.

“The fastest way to achieve this is to support them militarily, so that President Putin understands that he cannot win on the battlefield, but rather that he must sit down and negotiate in good faith,” he stressed.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (REUTERS)
Russian President Vladimir Putin (REUTERS)

Following setbacks on the ground, Russia launched waves of missile and drone strikes against civilian energy infrastructure.

According to US reports, Washington is finalizing plans to send most advanced Patriot missile batteries in Ukraine, which will add to the other Western air defense systems already supplied to Kyiv.

Stoltenberg said “a discussion is underway” to supply the Patriots, but stressed that NATO countries must ensure there are enough ammunition and spare parts to keep the weapons shipped so far operational.

Ukraine arms demand depleted reserves of allied members and there is a fear that the Alliance defense industries will not be able to produce in sufficient quantity.

“We are increasing our production for that precise purpose, so that we can rebuild our own deterrence and defense reserves and continue to support Ukraine in the long term,” Stoltenberg said.

File photo: German soldiers fire the Patriot (AP) weapon system
File photo: German soldiers fire the Patriot (AP) weapon system

Putin’s invasion of Ukraine shocked the West. It forced NATO to make its biggest adaptation since the end of the cold war, with the massive reinforcement of its eastern flank. In addition, Finland and Sweden were pressured to apply to join the Alliance.

“It is the most dangerous security crisis that we have known in Europe since the Second World War”Stoltenberg said. “This is a defining moment,” he insisted.

The official specified that, despite the fact that Putin’s nuclear threats have recently been reduced, NATO remains vigilant “and will constantly monitor what they do.”

“Nuclear rhetoric, with references to the potential use of nuclear weapons, is reckless and dangerous”said the NATO chief. “Their aim is of course to dissuade us from supporting Ukraine, but it will not succeed,” he added.

Jens Stoltenberg’s term as NATO chief, extended by one year in March, ends at the end of 2023. The 63-year-old former Norwegian prime minister did not specify whether he will leave office permanently next year. “I don’t have other projects,” he said.

He declined to comment on calls by some allies for the appointment of a woman to succeed him, which would be a first for the Alliance.

“My goal is to fulfill my responsibilities as NATO Secretary General so that the Alliance stays together,” he declared. “It is my only concern and then I leave the decision on who will succeed me to the heads of state and government.”

(By Max Delany – AFP)

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