More weapons for Ukraine needed before peace talks – NATO chief
The conflict between Ukraine and Russia will likely end in negotiations, which is why Kiev needs to be supplied with more weapons, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has claimed.
“We all want this war to end,” Stoltenberg said in his speech at the 68th Annual Session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in Madrid on Monday, adding that it matters to the US-led military bloc how exactly the conflict concludes.
“We need to realize that this war most likely will end at some stage at the negotiating table. But we must also know that the outcome of those negotiations totally depends on strength on the battlefield,” the NATO chief argued.
“So, if we want an outcome, which is acceptable for Ukraine… the best way of achieving that is to provide military support for Ukraine,” he said.
NATO members “must be prepared to support Ukraine for the long haul,” Stoltenberg said, urging lawmakers to keep advocating for more aid for Kiev in their own countries.
Stoltenberg acknowledged that this assistance “comes at a price” for NATO members. “In our countries, many face cost of living crisis. Energy and food bills are rising. These are tough times for many,” he pointed out.
However, the NATO chief argued that Western countries will have to pay “a much harsher price” if Russia is allowed to achieve victory in Ukraine, as it would signal to other “authoritarian regimes” that they can achieve their goals by force, which would “make the world more dangerous.”
Stoltenberg also warned that “it would be a great mistake to underestimate Russia” because Moscow “retains significant military capabilities and a high number of troops.”
High-ranking Russian officials have repeatedly said that Moscow is ready to negotiate a settlement with Ukraine, while accusing Kiev of being unwilling to talk, and deliberately putting forward unrealistic conditions for dialogue.
Russia has described the conflict in Ukraine as a “proxy war” being waged against it by the US and NATO. Moscow has consistently criticized weapons deliveries to Ukraine by Western countries, saying they only prolong the fighting and increase the risk of a direct confrontation between Russia and NATO.