West should be ready to support Kyiv for the long term, NATO secretary general says
The West must prepare for a protracted conflict between Ukraine and Russia, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Sunday, insisting on continued arms deliveries to kyiv.
Speaking to the BBC, Stoltenberg said Russia’s partial mobilization, launched in September, shows Moscow has no intention of ending hostilities in the near future. “All this indicates that they are ready to continue the war and also to try to launch a new offensive potentially,” he claimed.
The head of the US-led military alliance also said the West must continue to supply arms and other support to Ukraine. According to the Secretary General, “It’s the only way to convince Russia that it has to sit down and negotiate in good faith and respect Ukraine as a sovereign independent nation in Europe.”
“What we know is that what Ukraine can achieve around this table is totally dependent on strength on the battlefield,” he underlined.
On Friday, Stoltenberg claimed that if “It may seem paradoxical” Western military support for Ukraine is “the fastest way to peace.”
After the start of the Russian military operation at the end of February, Western countries stepped up their arms deliveries to Ukraine, a decision condemned by Moscow. Last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin said NATO was using the military potential of almost all of its member states against Moscow in Ukraine. According to the president, efforts to undermine the Russian economy in the “sanctions war” on Ukraine have largely failed.
Previously, he had also accused the West of turning Ukraine into “a colony”, and using his people as “cannon fodder, a ram against Russia.”
At the same time, the Kremlin remains open to talks with Ukraine, accusing kyiv of refusing to negotiate. However, Moscow insisted that kyiv “recognize the reality on the ground” as a precondition for any peace talks, including the new status of Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson and Zaporozhye as parts of Russia.