Ukraine’s allies must be prepared for a ‘long war’, Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg warns
- Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warned that the war will likely be long
Ukraine’s allies must be prepared for a ‘long war’ in the country, the head of Nato has said.
Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warned that neither side is in a position to put down arms and negotiate a peace deal.
Ukraine continues making slow progress in its counteroffensive to reclaim lost territory, while Russia yesterday continued discussions over military co-operation with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.
Mr Stoltenberg said in an interview in Germany: ‘Most wars last longer than expected when they first begin.
‘Therefore we must prepare ourselves for a long war in Ukraine.’
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg holds a joint press conference with president of Kosovo at the Alliance headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, on September 7
Mr Stoltenberg and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky pose for photographers ahead a joint press conference on the sidelines of the NATO Summit in Vilnius on July 12
He added: ‘We are all wishing for a quick peace. But at the same time we must recognise [that] if President (Volodymyr) Zelensky and the Ukrainians stop fighting, their country will no longer exist.’
He said there ‘is no doubt that Ukraine will eventually be in Nato’ after the war ‘otherwise history could repeat itself’.
With winter now approaching, both sides will hunker down once the current Ukrainian counteroffensive ends its main thrust.
Though there have been some strategic gains in recent months, progress has been slower than Ukraine’s allies had hoped. Yesterday Russia said it shot down six Ukrainian drones over the Crimea peninsula and one on the outskirts of Moscow.
Meanwhile, Kim Jong-un yesterday completed his six-day visit to Russia.
North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un (L) shaking hands with Russia’s Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu (R) after receiving a gift at their luncheon during a visit to the port in Vladivostok on September 17
The leader, who was pictured wearing a Russian fur hat, boarded an armoured train for his journey home following a red-carpet ceremony in the far-eastern Primorye region.
His officials said the visit, in which he met Vladimir Putin and Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu, would help strengthen ‘the strategic and tactical co-ordination’ between the countries.
North Korea could provide munitions for Moscow’s war on Ukraine in exchange for Russian weapons technology to advance its nuclear ambitions.