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Stoltenberg Argues, Ukraine War Could Go on for Years, while China Is a New Challenge for NATO

June 19, 2022 (EIRNS)—In a brief interview with Bild am Sonntag today, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, when asked how long the war could go on, bluntly stated, “Nobody knows. We must prepare for the fact that it could take years. We must not stop supporting Ukraine. Even if the costs are high, not only for military support but also because of rising energy and food prices. But: That is no comparison to the price that the Ukrainians have to pay every day with many lives. And if Putin learns from this war that he can simply carry on as he did after the 2008 war in Georgia and the occupation of Crimea in 2014, then we will pay a much higher price.”

When pressed for how long could Ukraine keep fighting, he said that the Ukrainians are putting up a brave resistance, and with the support of modern weapons, they could “probably” push the Russians out of Donbass.

Bild then asked about the dangers of escalation in the region, to which Stoltenberg replied that

“NATO will continue to support Ukraine in its self-defense, but is not part of the conflict. We are helping the country, but we will not send NATO soldiers to Ukraine. We have strengthened our own defenses, with 40,000 troops under NATO command. We secure the territory of the alliance on land, at sea and in the air. This is a clear message to Moscow so that there are no misunderstandings about our preparedness.”

Raising the questions of the use of nuclear weapons, the NATO chief scoffed at the idea, stating that

“We do not see a higher level of readiness in the Russian nuclear forces. Still, Russia’s nuclear saber-rattling is dangerous and irresponsible. Putin needs to know that a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be waged. Our clear signal to Russia: NATO protects all member states.”

In regard to the upcoming NATO summit in Madrid, in which it’s expected that there’ll be a new strategic concept developed, Stoltenberg said ominously, “If the world changes, NATO changes too. And the world has become more dangerous. We will declare that Russia is no longer a partner, but a threat to our security, to peace and stability. China will also appear in the paper for the first time. Because China’s rise is a challenge to our interests, our values ​​and our security.”

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