The secretary general of the NATO, Jens Stoltenbergsaid that the alliance has to prepare for a long war in Ukraine and insisted that member countries have to increase their defense spending and recalled the spending levels during the cold War.
“Most wars last longer than you think when they start. That is why we must prepare for a long war in Ukraine,” Stoltenberg said in statements to the media of the German group Funke.
Stoltenberg said that although a quick peace would be desirable, it must be remembered that “If Ukrainians stopped fighting, Ukraine would cease to exist.”
Peace, according to Stoltenberg, will only come when the Russian president, Vladimir Putinstop attacking Ukraine.
After peace, according to Stoltenberg, Ukraine will need security guarantees and “there is no doubt” that the country will join NATO.
On the other hand, Stoltenberg insisted on the need to increase military spending and meet the goal of dedicating at least 2.0 percent of GDP to it which Germany has not yet reached although, according to him, it is “on the right track.”
“In times of the Cold War, when Willy Brandt or Konrad Adenauer governed, defense spending was around 4.0 percent of GDP. We achieved it then and we have to achieve it now,” he assured.
“For NATO it is important that the most populous European member country meets the goal. “2 percent of a big pie is more than 2 percent of a small pie,” she added.
Stoltenberg said that having been Norwegian Prime Minister he knows how difficult it is to increase defense spending when large outlays also need to be made on health or infrastructure projects, but he added that it is necessary when tensions increase.
Trip to the USA
The Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky will make his second war visit to Washington next weekthe White House announced Friday, in an attempt to solidify support from his country’s crucial sponsor, which has sent billions of dollars in aid to fight Russian invaders.
Zelensky will travel to the White House on Thursday to meet with President Joe Biden and will also hold meetings in Congress American, where elements of the rival Republican Party are reluctant as Biden tries to push through a major new aid package for kyiv.
The Ukrainian leader’s trip to Washington will come after meetings with other world leaders at the UN General Assembly in New York.
Jake Sullivan, Biden’s national security advisor, declared that the trip comes at a “critical moment,” as Ukraine embarks on a counteroffensive against Russia. Biden will reaffirm “his commitment to continue leading global support for Ukraine in the defense of its independence, its sovereignty and its territorial integrity,” Sullivan told reporters.
Next week will be Zelensky’s second visit to Washington since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022.
In December, he secretly flew to the American capital on his first international trip during the war, entering the White House in the military fatigues that have become his trademark.
Zelensky has felt increasingly confident traveling abroad, from European allies to Saudi Arabia and Japan, where he met leaders at the Group of Seven summit in May.
Biden made his own surprise visit to kyiv in February, a highly unusual trip to an active combat zone for the security-conscious White House.
Biden, who has sought to refute criticism that he is too old for office, has begun airing campaign ads featuring his visit to Kiev, with the 80-year-old president strutting confidently in his sunglasses alongside Zelensky. .