NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Tuesday that it was necessary to continue providing assistance to Ukraine, however he admitted that it would be tough and that Europe would pay a price for its support to Kiev.
“What we are seeing is unprecedented support from NATO’s European allies, Germany, Canada, the United States and many other countries around the world. I took part in [Ukrainian] President [Vladimir] Zelensky’s Crimea Platform [forum] today – and the message sent there by all the leaders present was clear: we stand behind Ukraine and we will support it as long as it is necessary. This is the message from the NATO allies,” Stoltenberg told the German TV channel ZDF.
However, he said providing military assistance to Kiev was not easy. “I’m not saying it’s easy. It requires hard work. I am committed to working with other Alliance leaders in Europe and North America to ensure that we continue to secure support,” ZDF quoted the NATO Secretary-General as saying. He pointed to Germany’s significant contribution there and said hopefully the German government would do more.
Stoltenberg also warned that the coming winter would be tough. “We will pay a price for our support to Ukraine as a consequence of the sanctions and of course the fact that Russia uses energy as a weapon,” he said in the interview. “But we must understand that there is no alternative to our support.”
NATO’s chief urged the West “to maximize the probability of an acceptable outcome of the war from Ukraine’s point of view.” “The best we can do is to provide military, financial, humanitarian and economic support to Ukraine,” he emphasized.
It could take years to support Ukraine, but there will be consequences, Stoltenberg warned, “not only in the military sphere, but also for industries. We need to increase production,” he said.
“As NATO, we have two roles: we must support Ukraine, a close partner. The other task is to make sure” there is no escalation, he warned, referring to Article 5 of the Washington Treaty signed in 1949 that provides for a collective response to an armed attack against each and every member of the Alliance.