On Sunday, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg issued a warning, emphasizing the need for the West to prepare for a ‘long war in Ukraine.’ He also expressed confidence, asserting that there is ‘absolutely no doubt’ that Ukraine will eventually join the American-led military alliance.
During an interview with the German Funke media group, the Norwegian politician threw cold water on the notion that the Russia-Ukraine conflict would come to an end any time soon.
“Most wars last longer than expected when they first begin,” Stoltenberg stated per France24. “Therefore we must prepare ourselves for a long war in Ukraine.”
“We are all wishing for a quick peace,” the NATO Secretary General continued.
“But at the same time, we must recognize: if President Zelensky and the Ukrainians stop fighting, their country will no longer exist. If President Putin and Russia lay down their weapons, we will have peace,” he said.
These remarks precede President Volodymyr Zelensky’s upcoming visit to Washington next week, during which he will once again meet with President Joe Biden and members of Congress.
The purpose of his visit is to advocate for more military assistance as Ukraine continues its fledgling counteroffensive against the well-entrenched Russian forces, who currently hold extensive territories in the southern and Donbas regions of Ukraine.
As per reports, Congress is presently considering, urged by the Biden administration, an additional $24 billion in aid for Ukraine. This would be in addition to the $113 billion already allocated from American taxpayer funds to support Kyiv in what has escalated into a proxy war with Moscow.
In addition to forecasting an extended conflict, Secretary General Stoltenberg, whose term in the top NATO position was extended earlier this year due to the war in Eastern Europe, further declared, “There’s absolutely no doubt that Ukraine will eventually become a part of NATO.”
During the most recent summit of the Western military alliance in Vilnius, Lithuania, NATO leaders reached a consensus that Ukraine could be considered for membership eligibility.
Nevertheless, they stressed that Ukraine would need to implement reforms to align with the alliance’s membership standards before becoming a member.
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