Jens Stoltenberg said he was worried that the fighting in Ukraine could get out of control and “it will turn into a war between Russia and NATO”. Guardian.
- “If things go wrong, they can go badly wrong,” NATO’s secretary general told Norwegian journalist Ann Lindmo from NRK television.
On the other hand, The New York Times He quotes the NATO chief as warning that “all-out war” with Russia is a “real possibility”.
- “This is a terrible war in Ukraine. It is a war that could escalate into a full-scale war between NATO and Russia. We are working every day to avoid this,” reports The Guardian.
According to the Associated Press, Stoltenberg asserted that “there is no doubt that full-scale war is possible.”
Stoltenberg, Norway’s former prime minister, added that it was important to avoid a conflict that “involves many countries in Europe and becomes an all-out war in Europe”.
- “I understand everyone who is tired of supporting Ukraine. I understand everyone who thinks food prices and electricity bills are too high,” he said, as quoted by The New York Times. “But we will pay a high price if Putin’s victory in Ukraine threatens our freedom and peace.”
Stoltenberg also declared that Putin is “pausing” the war to redeploy his forces to prolong the conflict and intensify it in the spring:
- “What we’re seeing now is that Russia is actually trying to keep a kind of ‘pause’ of this war, at least for a short period of time, so that it can regroup, adjust, recover, and then try to launch that big offensive next spring,” he told the Financial Times on Wednesday.
The NATO leader also stressed the importance of continuing military support to Ukraine, saying Russia has shown no willingness to engage in peace talks that respect Ukraine’s sovereignty.
Stoltenberg declined to answer when pressed on whether NATO member states should agree to provide more advanced, long-range strike weapons – NATO allies, including the United States, have refrained from calling for direct conflict with Russia.
The US State Department last week reiterated that it does not allow or encourage Ukraine to attack beyond its borders after drone attacks on Russian military bases.
The Pentagon has continued to provide other types of security aid to Kiev, and on Friday announced a new aid package worth $275 million, including additional HIMARS munitions, air defense equipment and about 150 generators for winter hardiness from Ukraine.
Moscow has repeatedly accused NATO allies of effectively becoming a party to the conflict by arming Ukraine, training its troops and providing military intelligence to attack Russian forces.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said in Bishkek on Friday that Russia could overhaul its military doctrine by introducing the possibility of a preemptive strike to disarm the enemy, AFP reported.
On the other hand, the White House on Friday drew attention to the deepening “large-scale military partnership” between Moscow and Tehran, while announcing new sanctions against Russia, AFP reported.
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