NATO Chief: It’s Dangerous to Underestimate Russia

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaks at a news conference following a NATO defence ministers meeting at the Alliance headquarters in Brussels, Belgium (February 2020 / photo by Reuters).

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg warned on Thursday against underestimating Russia and what he called President Vladimir Putin’s ambitions amid the war in Ukraine.

“They have shown a great willingness to tolerate losses and suffering,” Stoltenberg told a business conference in Norway.

“We have no indication that President Putin has changed his plans and goals in Ukraine. So it’s dangerous to underestimate Russia.”

Pointing out that wars are unpredictable, but most of them end at the negotiation table, Stoltenberg said this war will also most likely end through dialogue.

“What the Ukrainians can achieve at the table depends on their strength on the battlefield. If we want a negotiated peace where Ukraine will remain an independent democratic country in Europe, the fastest way to achieve that is to support Ukraine. The way to peace is actually through weapons,” he told the annual conference of the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise in Oslo.

The NATO chief argued, meanwhile, that whatever may be the outcome of the war, the security situation in Europe has changed permanently.

“Russia wants a different Europe and aims to control its neighbors,” he said, adding: “Even if the war is over, the problems in our relations with Russia will remain.”

Stoltenberg stated that NATO should be investing more in defense, and should not depend on authoritarian regimes in areas such as energy.

Source: Agencies

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