NATO head warns of Russian threat
The cost of providing support for Ukraine is high for the West, but it could be even higher if Russia expands its “aggression” to other countries, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has said, claiming that “the war in Ukraine is entering a critical phase.”
In an opinion piece, published by the Financial Times on Wednesday, Stoltenberg claimed that Russian President Vladimir Putin had “clearly stated that he wants to wipe the country from the map and rewrite the European security order.” Therefore, NATO’s chief claimed, supporting Ukraine benefits the bloc’s own security.
“Emboldened by any success, Russia could risk further aggression against other neighbors, and even an attack on NATO allies,” he explained.
Since the launch of Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine in late February, Baltic states and Poland have been asking the US and NATO for additional military support, citing the threat from Russia as the reason for these requests.
Moscow, in turn, has been insisting that the bloc’s expansion towards its borders was one of the reasons for the offensive in Ukraine.
In Stoltenberg’s opinion, the West has “a moral responsibility” to continue supporting Ukraine.
“If Russia stops fighting, there will be peace. If Ukraine stops fighting, it will cease to exist as an independent nation,” he explained.
Therefore, the secretary general said, the alliance members will continue to help Ukraine’s “transition from Soviet-era weapons to NATO-standard capabilities” and are now preparing “more than a dozen new projects” to help Kiev throughout the winter.
The next six months, Stoltenberg stressed, will be hard not only for the Ukrainians but also for their supporters, who will “pay a price,” including by suffering from the energy crisis.
“There are tough times ahead, but we have faced tough times together before,” Stoltenberg concluded.
Moscow has been consistently arguing that by “pumping up” Ukraine with weapons, Western countries are only prolonging the conflict and increasing the number of unnecessary casualties. In May, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stressed that none of the actions taken by NATO, the US, or their allies would be able to prevent Russia from fulfilling the goals of its military operation.