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29 Nov, 2023 11:17

NATO recognizes Ukrainian counteroffensive has failed – member state

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto questioned the bloc’s strategy, given the poor results from its support for Kiev
NATO recognizes Ukrainian counteroffensive has failed – member state

Several foreign ministers at this week’s NATO meeting in Brussels have admitted that the much-anticipated Ukrainian counteroffensive has failed to deliver any breakthrough or progress, according to Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto.

He said the original plan had been for Ukraine to defeat Russia on the battlefield, triggering political consequences in Moscow.

“I think today everyone can see – though they may not admit it – that this plan has failed,” Szijjarto told journalists at a press conference during a break at the meeting on Tuesday.

“The goals and hopes of the Ukrainian counteroffensive have been dashed because there has been no major change on the battlefield and no breakthrough since its beginning. This has been recognized by many people here. Quietly, cautiously, but still recognized,” he admitted.

At the meeting of NATO foreign ministers, the bloc’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg urged member states to “stay the course” in arming Ukraine, insisting that this is also about “our security interests.”

Responding to a question from a journalist, Stoltenberg said NATO would support Kiev “as long as it takes.” He noted that NATO members had provided more than €100 billion ($109 billion) in military assistance to Ukraine since the beginning of its armed conflict with Russia in February 2022.

However, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said earlier this month that the supply of Western arms had had a negligible impact on the front line, remarking that “despite the supply of new kinds of NATO weapons, the Kiev regime is losing.”

Moscow insists that the delivery of Western-manufactured arms to Kiev makes the US and NATO countries de facto direct participants in the conflict, effectively waging a proxy war against Russia.

At October’s Xiangshan Security Forum in China, Shoigu called the conflict a “hybrid war” waged on Moscow with the goal of its strategic defeat. He added that “Ukraine was cynically chosen as a battering ram, and assigned the role of merely expendable material.”

Kiev’s forces have sustained more than 90,000 casualties during the counteroffensive as of late October, according to Moscow’s Defense Ministry. Last Tuesday, Shoigu released new estimates of Ukrainian losses for November, approximately 13,700 people.