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February 1, 2023
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Jens Stoltenberg in Bucharest: NATO foreign ministers will address ways to step up support for Ukraine. We cannot let Putin win

President Klaus Iohannis on Monday welcomed visiting NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace.

The two officials had private talks, at the end of which they held a joint news conference.

Stoltenberg is in Romania Monday to Wednesday to preside over a meeting of the NATO foreign ministers on Tuesday and Wednesday. Also, on Tuesday, he will participate in an Aspen – GMF Bucharest Forum, where he will give a speech.

 

Stoltenberg: We cannot let Putin win

 

NATO foreign ministers will address ways to step up support for Ukraine, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Monday, adding that Russian President Vladimir Putin cannot be allowed to win.

“We will do what is necessary to protect and defend all allies. Here in Bucharest NATO foreign ministers will address ways to step up our support for Ukraine as well as other partners facing Russian pressure – Bosnia-Herzegovina, Georgia and Moldova. You have proven a generous host to over 1.5 million refugees, you have assisted with export of millions of tonnes of Ukrainian grain to help ease the global food crisis, and you provide significant military assistance to Ukraine. We cannot let Putin win. This would show authoritarian leaders around the world that they can achieve their goals by using military force and make the world a more dangerous place for all of us. So, it is in our own security interest to support Ukraine,” said Stoltenberg, according to Agerpres.

 

Iohannis: We need more than ever a strong and solidary NATO

 

President Klaus Iohannis stated on Monday that, in the context of the war in Ukraine, we need, more than ever, the North Atlantic Alliance to be strong and solidary, adding that he expects the NATO Foreign Affairs Ministers’ meeting, which is taking place in Bucharest, to reconfirm this objective.

“We need more than ever a strong and solidary NATO and I expect the meeting which starts tomorrow to reconfirm this objective, the head of state told a news conference at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace, after the meeting he had with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

 

 Increased number of allied soldiers and prepositioned equipment on the Eastern Flank, needed

 

President Klaus Iohannis stated on Monday that there is a need for an increased number of allied soldiers and prepositioned equipment on the Eastern Flank, showing that it is necessary that the decisions taken in this regard at the North Atlantic Alliance Summit in Madrid materialize.

“More defence and deterrence force is needed on the Eastern Flank. I said this thing a long time ago, from the beginning to be very specific, and, even today, I discussed all these matters with Mr. Secretary General. In my opinion, an increased number of allied military is needed, but that is not enough. In addition, to represent a solid deterrence and defence, equipment is needed, more exactly prepositioned equipment. We discussed these things and also about increasing the presence and prepositioning of equipment at the Summit in Madrid, but these decisions need to materialize. In Madrid, the decision was rather generic, everyone agreed that this must be done, but now I want us, at least that was my stance, to take action,” the head of state said at the Cotroceni Palace, after the meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

He underscored that there is a need for concrete plans and the development of logistic structures and that it is expected for braver and much more concrete decisions to be made in these areas at next year’s NATO Summit in Vilnius.

“In addition, very specific plans are needed in order to know exactly, in the event of an attack, who, what troops and where they are to be sent. We cannot leave such decisions for the last moment and then be caught by surprise. It is necessary, apart from these plans, to develop some logistic structures, for example for fuels, etc. All these, in my opinion, in our opinion, are necessary and I think that at the Summit in Vilnius next year, at least that’s what we have discussed today, it’s possible to have more courageous and much more concrete decisions in these areas,” the head of state said.

 

Stoltenberg: A message of the NATO meeting should be the need to step up provision of air defence systems

 

Russian President Vladimir Putin is “trying to use winter as a weapon of war” against Ukraine, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Monday, adding that he expects one of the messages of the NATO foreign ministers’ meeting in Bucharest to be the need to step up the provision of air defence systems.

“What we have seen over the last weeks is horrific attacks against Ukrainian cities, critical infrastructure and also residential areas. What we see is that president Putin is trying to destroy the power system, the gas infrastructure and basic services for the Ukrainian people. And by doing that when we enter winter demonstrates that President Putin is now trying to use the winter as a weapon of war against Ukraine. This is horrific and we need to be prepared for more attacks,” said Stoltenberg.

He added that NATO allies have stepped up support for Ukraine with air defense systems, and that one of the messages of the meeting in Bucharest is expected to be the need to step up this aid.

“NATO allies have stepped up their support to Ukraine with additional air defense systems. Allies are providing advanced air defence systems and different systems that can both address the threats posed by various types of drones, but also cruise and ballistic missiles. I expect that one of the messages from the foreign ministers meeting here in Bucharest will be to further step up the provision of air defence systems, as well as spare parts, training and ammunition to the different air defence systems because we need to help Ukraine defend itself against this horrific type of war,” said Stoltenberg.

 

The outcome of negotiations is  totally dependent on the situation on the battlefield

 

Most likely the war in Ukraine will end at some stage at the negotiating table, but the outcome of those negotiations are totally dependent on the situation on the battlefield, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Monday in Bucharest, adding that it will be a tragedy for Ukrainian people and the world if President Putin wins.

“What we have seen over the last month is that President Putin made a big strategic mistake. He underestimated the strength of the Ukrainian people, the Ukrainian Armed Forces and the Ukrainian political leadership. He thought that he was going to win, to take control over Kyiv within days. What you’re seeing is that first the Ukrainian Armed Forces are able to push the Russian forces out of the north, around Kyiv, then in the east around Kharkiv and then to liberate also territory in the south with Kherson. Our task is to provide support to Ukraine, because we know that the only way to achieve an outcome of this war which ensures that Ukraine prevails as a sovereign independent nation is to strengthen their position on the battlefield. Most likely the war will end at some stage at the negotiating table. But the outcome of those negotiations are totally dependent on the situation on the battlefield,” Stoltenberg said at the end of a meeting held at the Cotroceni Presidential Palace with President Klaus Iohannis.

He emphasised NATO’s support for Ukraine, because in the event of a victory for Vladimir Putin, the whole world will become a more dangerous place by the message to other authoritarian leaders.

“We support Ukraine also because we know that it will be a tragedy for Ukrainian people if President Putin wins, but it will also make the world more dangerous. Because then the message to President Putin and other authoritarian leaders will be that if they use military force violating international law as a President Putin is doing in Ukraine, they will achieve their goals. The role will be more difficult, dangerous, but also we will be more vulnerable. So therefore, we need to stay the course and not back down and continue to support Ukraine,” said Stoltenberg.

 

Meeting with PM Ciuca at Victoria Palace

 

Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca welcomed on Monday, at the Victoria Palace, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, where the two officials will talk on the sidelines of the NATO Foreign Affairs Ministers’ meeting, which takes place on Tuesday, in Bucharest.

The NATO head was  accompanied at the Government headquarters by Deputy Secretary General of NATO Mircea Geoana, and also present, alongside Romania’s Prime Minister, was  National Defence Minister Angel Tilvar.

 

Photo: www.presidency.ro

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