Stoltenberg says war in Ukraine could last for years – POLITICO

Stoltenberg says war in Ukraine could last for years – POLITICO




NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on Sunday said that the war in Ukraine could last years, but that a supply of state-of-art weapons would increase Kyiv’s chances to free the eastern Donbas vicinity from Russian control.

“Although the fight in the Donbas is being waged ever more brutally by Russia, Ukrainian soldiers are putting up a brave resistance. With more modern weapons, the likelihood increases that Ukraine will be able to excursion Putin’s troops out of the Donbas again in addition,” Stoltenberg told German magazine Bild am Sonntag in an interview published on Sunday.

The NATO chief believes it is impossible to predict when the war will end. “Nobody knows. We must prepare for the fact that it could take years,” he was quoted as saying. “We must not let up in supporting Ukraine, already if the costs are high, not only for military sustain but also because of rising energy and food prices.”

British chief Minister Boris Johnson on Saturday said it is crucial to continue to show sustain for Kyiv as the conflict drags on. “When Ukraine fatigue is setting in, it is very important to show that we are with them for the long haul and we are giving them the strategic resilience that they need,” Johnson said after surprise visit to the Ukrainian capital.

Stoltenberg said last week that NATO is exploring a plan to place more weapons along its eastern border and rotate more troops by the vicinity. While alliance allies agree that there should be a bigger NATO presence on its eastern flank, there have been internal debates on how to best position forces in the vicinity.

NATO leaders are set to meet in Madrid at the end of the month discuss the Ukraine conflict and to adopt its new “strategic concept,” a strategic document outlining the alliance’s missions for the coming decade.

Stoltenberg said that, under the new strategy, Russia won’t be considered anymore as a “partner” but as a “threat” to security, peace and stability. The document will also mention China for the first time, the NATO chief said, noting that “China’s rise is a challenge to our interests, our values ​​and our security.”

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