An important question about the future of the war in Ukraine is whether Russian President Vladimir Putin, even if he does not have the necessary capabilities, will decide to send troops to Kyiv again, US Ambassador to NATO Julianne Smith said on Tuesday.
Visiting Bucharest, she spoke at a roundtable with Romanian journalists about the exchange of information about the Russian Federation’s plans to invade Ukraine, about the results of the NATO Summit in Madrid, but also about Romania’s role in the region.
Smith pointed out that the US decided early, towards the end of last year, to exchange “intensely” intelligence, for the first time, with allies and partners, so that there would be “the same picture of the situation” and the same intervention plans for a possible war in Ukraine.
She confessed that beyond the intelligence effort, what followed was more difficult, because once Russians entered the country, one could only try to figure out what Putin’s plans were.
Julianne Smith presented an analysis of the evolution of aggression against Ukraine and spoke about future challenges in this context.
US Ambassador to NATO said that what we learned is that there is a difference between Russian possibilities and intentions. Russia thought it would enter Kyiv and conquer Ukraine in a few days. It could not do so for lack of means and because Ukrainian forces were extraordinary in their fight against Russian aggression. So Russia had to give up its original goal, it focused on eastern Ukraine, and now the big question is not just about how this war will end, when Russia stops its aggression against Ukraine and also what happens next. Will Putin, even if he does not have the necessary capabilities, decide to send troops to Kyiv again? This is a question that many would like to know the answer to.
As to the recent NATO Summit in Madrid, the US ambassador stressed that the Alliance had to adapt its doctrine, strategy, position and even composition due to Russia’s actions. Therefore, she believes that the Alliance currently has the perfectly appropriate approach and the Strategic Concept reflects the environment in which we find ourselves today.
Julianne Smith recalled that in the current Strategic Concept NATO refers to the Black Sea “clearly as an area of interest to the Alliance”.
“It is a new issue and it is important for the Alliance, in addition to highlighting Russian aggression and what is happening in Ukraine, to focus on individual regions such as the Black Sea, where the Alliance wants to bring more forces, organize training and exercises, where it intends to have several high-level visits”, she said.
Smith described as “an important moment” the announcement of President Joe Biden at the Madrid Summit on the additional deployment of US military personnel in Romania at the level of a combat brigade. Currently, approximately 3,000 American troops are deployed in Romania, by rotation, the US ambassador to NATO indicated.
She noted that each NATO member state is currently providing some form of assistance to Ukraine. Some allies only wanted to provide humanitarian aid, others provide financial aid and many provide military aid. “Some allies provide all these types of aid”, said Julianne Smith, according to Agerpres.
The US Ambassador to NATO noted the way in which people fleeing the war in Ukraine were received in our country.
Julianne Smith said she was particularly impressed by the warmth with which Romania received the refugees, hundreds of thousands of people. She added she was deeply grateful for this support and the US supports Romania’s leading role in the Alliance to make sure that NATO backs Ukraine in its fight against Russian aggression.
Photo: Facebook/U.S. Embassy Bucharest