The bloc’s secretary general says Ukraine’s counter-offensives do not promise an end to the hostilities
The conflict between Russia and Ukraine will not be ending any time soon, despite Kiev’s “effective” counter-attack against Moscow’s troops, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg claims.
Speaking to BBC Radio on Friday, the NATO chief said that it is “extremely encouraging to see that Ukrainian armed forces have been able to take back territory and also strike behind Russian lines.”
However, he stressed it is important to understand that “this is not the beginning of the end of the war, we have to be prepared for the long haul.”
Stoltenberg’s comments come after Russia announced the withdrawal of its troops from several settlements in northeastern Ukraine, including the city of Izium. Moscow maintains the step was taken to strengthen forces in Donetsk, while Kiev celebrated the Russian withdrawal as a victory.
Last week, Stoltenberg warned that Ukraine could “cease to exist” as an independent nation unless it continues its fight against Russia, which, he claims, wants to “take control of Ukraine.”
The secretary general reiterated calls for Western nations to continue their support for Kiev by sending more military aid, as well as supplying them with adequate uniforms for the upcoming winter, generators, and tents, among other things.
Moscow has repeatedly urged the West to stop “pumping” Ukraine with weapons and other military hardware, insisting that it will only serve to prolong the bloodshed without changing the outcome of the conflict.