The collective West must ready itself for a long-drawn-out conflict between Russia and Ukraine, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has stated, saying that weapons shipments to Kyiv must continue, and warning that Moscow may be planning a new offensive.
While speaking to the BBC on Sunday, January 1st, Stoltenberg said Russia’s partial mobilization which began in September has revealed that Moscow has no plans to end hostilities in the near future, adding that NATO’s continued military support for Kyiv would help to ensure that Ukraine maintains its national sovereignty and force Russia to the negotiating table.
“The Ukrainian forces had the momentum for several months, but we also know that Russia has mobilized many more forces, many of them are now training,” Stoltenberg began. “All that indicates that they are prepared to continue the war and also try to potentially launch a new offensive.”
“What we do know is that what Ukraine can achieve around that table is totally dependent on the strength on the battlefield,” the NATO chief continued.
On Friday, December 30th, in a separate interview given to Deutsche Press-Agentur (DPA), Stoltenberg suggested that peace could be achieved through further weapons shipments to Ukraine.
“It may sound like a paradox, but military support for Ukraine is the fastest way to peace,” he said, adding: “We know that most wars end at the negotiating table— probably this war too—but we know that what Ukraine can achieve in these negotiations depends inextricably on the military situation.”
He added that it is in the collective West’s security interests that Ukraine is victorious in this conflict, and that Russian President Vladimir Putin fails.
The NATO chief’s words come days after the U.S. House and Senate agreed on a $45 billion aid package for Ukraine following Zelensky’s state visit. Additionally, President Joe Biden recently announced that the U.S.—as part of a separate $1.85 billion military aid package to Ukraine—would be sending its MIM-104 Patriot surface-to-air missile defense system, which can provide defense against ballistic, aircraft, and cruise missiles.