NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaks during a press conference.
Gulf Today Report
Russia’s war in Ukraine could take years, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told a German weekly newspaper, adding that the supply of state-of-the-art weaponry to Ukrainian troops would increase the chance of liberating the Donbas region from Russian control.
“We must prepare for the fact that it could take years. We must not let up in supporting Ukraine,” Stoltenberg told Bild am Sonntag. “Even if the costs are high, not only for military support, also because of rising energy and food prices.”
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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who visited Kyiv on Friday, made similar comments about the need to prepare for a long war in an op-ed for London’s Sunday Times newspaper.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson attends a meeting. File photo
Speaking to reporters on Saturday he stressed the need to avoid “Ukraine fatigue” and with Russian forces “grinding forward inch by inch”, for allies to show the Ukrainians they were there to support them for a long time.
In the op-ed, he said this meant ensuring “Ukraine receives weapons, equipment, ammunition and training more rapidly than the invader.”
“Time is the vital factor,” Johnson said. “Everything will depend on whether Ukraine can strengthen its ability to defend its soil faster than Russia can renew its capacity to attack.”
Ukraine received a significant boost on Friday when the European Commission recommended that it be granted EU candidate status – something European Union countries are expected to endorse at a summit this week.
This would put Ukraine on course to realise an aspiration seen as out of reach before Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion, even if actual membership could take years.