NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on Thursday warned that the ongoing war in Ukraine could drag on for months, possibly even years, as he promised to step up support for Ukraine in its war against the Russian invaders.
Speaking at a NATO youth summit in Brussels, Belgium, the 63-year-old assured that steps were being taken to pressurize Russia and bring an end to the war, saying, “We will continue to put maximum pressure on [Russian] President [Vladimir] Putin to end the war by imposing sanctions, by providing economic support but also military support to Ukraine, and we need to be prepared for the long-term.”
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However, the NATO chief warned that the situation in Ukraine was “very unpredictable and fragile,” adding that “there is absolutely the possibility that this war will drag on and last for months and years.”
Commenting on NATO’s efforts to help Ukraine, Stoltenberg said that NATO and its allies were helping Kyiv advance from “old Soviet-era equipment to more modern standard-weapons and systems,” but added that fully training Ukrainian soldiers to use such equipment would take some time.
The NATO chief’s comments come after the US, the UK, and several other European countries recently promised to supply Ukraine with modern weapons, including howitzers, drones, armoured vehicles, and even anti-aircraft tanks.
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Stoltenberg’s comments on the situation in Ukraine also come on a day when United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is slated to meet President Volodymyr Zelensky to discuss potential solutions to the war, which has dragged on for more than two months now.
Earlier on Tuesday, Guterres had met Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss the situation in Ukraine, but Putin hinted that peace talks between the two countries had come to a halt over Ukrainian accusations about Russian war crimes in Bucha, where dozens of civilians have been shot.