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Stoltenberg: “Ukraine’s future is in the Euro-Atlantic family”

#StandWithUkraine
February 28,2023 494
Stoltenberg: “Ukraine’s future is in the Euro-Atlantic family”

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg dedicated much of his speech at the SAMAK Nordic Summit in Helsinki on Tuesday to Russia’s war on Ukraine.

He called on NATO allies to urgently deliver on their training and heavy weaponry pledges and give Ukraine what they need to prevail – “so that key capabilities can reach Ukraine before Russia can seize the momentum.”

Stoltenberg once again emphasized that “the biggest risk of all is if President Putin wins in Ukraine,” making the world more dangerous and the West more vulnerable.

He also said that long-term arrangements must be put in place for Ukraine’s security “because Ukraine’s future is in the Euro-Atlantic family.”

Below is the part of Stoltenberg’s speech focused on Russia’s war on Ukraine as published on the NATO site:

We may be shocked by the brutality of the war in Ukraine. But we should not be surprised. This is part of a pattern of Russian aggression over many years.

In Grozny.
In Georgia.
In Aleppo.
In Crimea and Donbas.
And now, a full-fledge invasion of Ukraine.

NATO Allies shared precise intelligence about Moscow’s plans for an invasion many months ahead. We made every effort to engage in diplomatic and political dialogue with Russia to prevent the war. But despite our calls, President Putin chose to attack.

One year on, Putin is not preparing for peace. He is preparing for more war.

So while the fighting continues, we can already now draw some lessons of the war.

First, we must sustain and step up our support to Ukraine.

Russia is launching new offensives. Mobilizing more troops. And reaching out to North Korea and Iran to get more weapons. We are also increasingly concerned that China may be planning to provide lethal support for Russia’s war.

So we must give Ukraine what they need to prevail.

I welcome the significant support Nordic countries are delivering to Ukraine. This is making a difference on the battlefield every day. And I thank all the Nordic countries for their support.

Together, NATO Allies are providing well over a hundred billion euros to Ukraine.

We must now urgently deliver on our pledges of training and heavy weaponry. So that key capabilities can reach Ukraine before Russia can seize the momentum.

I hear concerns that our support increases the risk of escalation. But as long as our biggest neighbor is willing to invade another country, there are no risk-free options. So let there be no doubt, the biggest risk of all is if President Putin wins in Ukraine.

If he wins, it will show authoritarian leaders that aggression works. And force is rewarded. That will make the world more dangerous. And us more vulnerable.

So supporting Ukraine is not only the morally right thing to do. It is also in our own security interest.

We do not know when this war will end. But when it does, we must ensure that history does not repeat itself.

President Putin cannot continue to chip away at European security. We must break the cycle of Russian aggression. Meaning, we must enable Ukraine to deter and defend against future aggression. We must put in place long-term arrangements for Ukraine’s security. Because Ukraine’s future is in the Euro-Atlantic family.

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