NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg Urges West to Send More Weapons to Ukraine

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg Urges West to Send More Weapons to Ukraine
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg

Brussels - NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has urged Western countries to provide more weapons more quickly to help Ukraine retake territory occupied by Russia, including the Crimean peninsula occupied since 2014.

Speaking at Tuesday's Crimea Platform Summit, Stoltenberg also warned that a harsh winter is in sight for Ukraine and its NATO backers, who need continued support for Kiev despite the costs. "NATO is part of the US-led Ukraine Defense Contact Group to mobilize support, and I am actively engaging with leaders to urge them to provide more weapons, and more ammunition, sooner," Stoltenberg said.

"Winter is coming, and it will be difficult," continued Stoltenberg. "What we are seeing now is a war of attrition. It is a battle of wills and a battle of logistics. Therefore, we must maintain our support for Ukraine for the long term, so that Ukraine wins as an independent sovereign state," he was quoted as saying by Newsweek, Wednesday. (24/8/2022).

Stoltenberg joined other leaders speaking at the summit to demand the return of Crimea to Ukrainian control. "Eight years ago, Russia illegally annexed Crimea, turning it into one of the most militarized regions in Europe and using it as a launching pad for its full-scale invasion of Ukraine six months ago," the NATO secretary general said.

"President Putin thinks he can destroy the Ukrainian people and the armed forces. He thinks he can divide our democracy and he thinks he can dictate what other people do. President Putin is wrong," he said. NATO countries have provided most of the military assistance to Ukraine, particularly the United States.

Ukraine's intention to become a member of NATO has been cited as a major complaint by Russian officials, including Putin, who are trying to justify Moscow's latest invasion. The costly operation arguably backfired, with Finland and Sweden set to end decades of neutrality and join the US-founded alliance.

NATO leaders also said the alliance's "open door" policy remained intact, despite the Kremlin's demand that Kiev be removed from membership in the future.

Meanwhile, NATO has pivoted to a more proactive stance on its eastern flank. "We have strengthened our presence in the east of the alliance," Stoltenberg said. "NATO's security guarantees leave no room for miscalculation in Moscow, and they allow allies to support Ukraine's right to self-defense."

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