NATO Secretary General: ‘Russia Trying To Freeze Ukraine Conflict’


NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Wednesday (07 December 2022) stressed the importance of continued NATO Allied support to Ukraine as it faces Russia’s war of aggression.

Addressing the Financial Times’ Global Boardroom event via video link, Stoltenberg said the conflict would likely enter a quieter phase over winter but that Russia is showing no sign of seeking a peaceful end to the conflict.

“First of all, we need to understand that wars are really hard to predict. NATO was very precise in predicting the invasion. We actually disclosed, shared intelligence more than … more than one year ago, last fall. Many months before the invasion, saying exactly was actually going to happen. That Russia was planning, preparing a full-fledged invasion of Ukraine,” Stoltenberg said, adding, “So when the invasion happened, we were well prepared, we activated our defence plans and we deployed tens of thousands of more troops in the eastern part of the Alliance. And we started to provide even more support to Ukraine.”

“Russia is trying to freeze the conflict” in order to “regroup and launch a bigger offensive later on because Ukraine now has the momentum,” Stoltenberg said. He reiterated that Ukraine would decide on the timing and contents of any negotiation with Russia. “The more we want a peaceful solution, the more urgent it is that we provide military support to Ukraine,” he said.

According to Stoltenberg, “President Putin made two big strategic mistakes when he decided to invade Ukraine. The first was to totally underestimate the Ukrainians, the bravery and the courage of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, the Ukrainian people and also the Ukrainian political leadership with President Zelenskyy. But he also underestimated the strength of NATO Allies and partners in our commitment to stand by Ukraine, to support Ukraine.”

Stoltenberg spoke to the Editor of the Financial Times, Roula Khalaf.

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