Western allies must “urgently provide Ukraine with everything we have” because of the threat of a new large-scale offensive by the Russian invaders in the first months of 2023 because “there is no sign that Putin has changed his goal of dominating Ukraine and nothing indicates that he is preparing for peace.” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stated this to Welt.
He was asked “how long the war will last,” to which the Alliance coordinator replied: “Nobody knows.”
But, he added, what is known is the principle that “if you want peace tomorrow, you have to support Ukraine today.”
“It sounds strange, but peace is through the supply of weapons. Our security interests go beyond solidarity with Ukraine because if Putin succeeds, others will learn from him. The world’s autocrats are watching how we respond to this invasion,” Stoltenberg reminded.
The NATO Secretary General explained to the readers that the Russian leadership “is prepared to sacrifice tens of thousands of Russian soldiers; it has mobilized more than 200,000 troops, plans to mobilize more, and is actively working to purchase more weapons from other authoritarian regimes such as Iran and North Korea.”
“We know Russia plans new offensives, and we must be ready for them. That is why it is so urgent. If we want Ukraine to survive as a sovereign and free country, it is necessary to act now. More heavy equipment for Ukraine is a must,” Stoltenberg urged the Allies.
He again emphasized that NATO is not a party to the war – “and it will remain so.”
“We are not sending NATO troops or aircraft to Ukraine. But we support them with equipment, as this is an aggressive war against an independent, sovereign, democratic state. Of course, there is always a risk of escalation. That is why it is so important to strengthen NATO’s military presence in the eastern part of the alliance,” he said, concluding that “we are sending this message to Moscow.”