“NATO will continue to stand with Ukraine for as long as it takes. We will not back down. Allies are providing unprecedented military support, and I expect foreign ministers will also agree to step up non-lethal support,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Friday.
“NATO foreign ministers will meet next week in Bucharest. We will address Russia’s illegal war in Ukraine, which continues to threaten Euro-Atlantic peace and security. President Putin is failing in Ukraine. And he is responding with more brutality. Waves of deliberate missile attacks on cities and civilian infrastructure, Depriving Ukrainians of heat, light, and food. This is a horrific start to the winter for Ukraine. These are also tough times for the rest of Europe, and around the world, with rising energy and food prices. Yes, we are all paying a price for Russia’s war against Ukraine. But the price we pay is in money. While the price Ukrainians pay is in blood. And if we let Putin win, all of us will pay a much higher price, for many years to come. If Putin and other authoritarian leaders see that force is rewarded, they will use force again to achieve their goals. That would make our world more dangerous, and all of us more vulnerable. So, it is in our security interest to support Ukraine,” Stoltenberg told a news conference in Brussels.
He added that Russia is the aggressor, and Ukraine is the victim of aggression and has the right to defend itself.
“There will be no lasting peace if the aggressor wins, if oppression and autocracy prevail over freedom and democracy,” said Stoltenberg, according to Agerpres.
He added that the foreign ministers of Bosnia, Georgia and Moldova will also be attending the meeting in Bucharest, saying that further steps will be taken to help them protect their independence, and strengthen their ability to defend themselves.
“NATO foreign ministers will also address ways to strengthen our resilience and the challenges posed by China. (…) The war in Ukraine has demonstrated our dangerous dependency on Russian gas. So we must assess our dependencies on other authoritarian regimes, not least China. We must manage the risks, reduce our vulnerabilities and increase our resilience,” he said.
Stoltenberg also mentioned to the process of expanding NATO to take in Finland and Sweden, which will make NATO stronger and the Euro-Atlantic space more secure. He said that so far 28 of the 30 NATO member states have already ratified the accession protocols of the two Nordic states and expressed his hope that Hungary and Turkey will do so as well.
“This has been the quickest accession process in NATO’s modern history. I am confident that all allies will ratify, I will not speculate about exactly when, but the sooner the better,” concluded Jens Stoltenberg, according to Agerpres.