The Secretary-General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Jens Stoltenberg, warned on Sunday that the war in Ukraine will continue for a long time, while indicating that Ukraine will become a member of the Alliance.
In an interview with the German Funke media group, Stoltenberg ruled out the possibility of a quick end to the Ukrainian war, at a time when Kiev continues to launch its counterattack against Russia.
“Most wars last longer than expected when they first start,” he said, warning, “Therefore, we must prepare ourselves for a long-term war in Ukraine.”
It is noteworthy that the military conflict that began in February 2022 in Ukraine with the invasion of Russian forces brought the war back to Europe for the first time in decades.
Kiev launched a counterattack last June on the positions seized by Russia in the south and east of the country, but the progress it achieved was limited.
Stoltenberg added, "We all hope to achieve a quick peace," adding, "But at the same time we must realize that if President Zelensky and the Ukrainians stop fighting, Ukraine will cease to exist."
He continued, "But if President Putin and Russia lay down their arms, then we will have peace."
Regarding Ukraine's ambitions to join the alliance, Stoltenberg pointed out that "there is no doubt that Ukraine will eventually become a member of NATO," adding that Kiev "came closer to NATO" during the NATO summit last July.
"When this war ends, we will need security guarantees for Ukraine, otherwise history may repeat itself," Stoltenberg stressed.
The leaders of NATO countries had agreed during the summit last July, hosted by Vilnius, that Ukraine could join once it met certain conditions, which include, according to officials from the United States and Germany, Kiev implementing reforms to protect democracy and the rule of law.
Source: National Iraqi News Agency