3 June 2022, 03:58 PM

Stoltenberg says war in Ukraine has become ‘war of attrition’ likely to end through negotiations

The war in Ukraine has become "a war of attrition," and Western nations must prepare for "the long haul," Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty quoted NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg as saying on June 2.

"Wars are by nature unpredictable and therefore we just have to be prepared for the long haul," Stoltenberg told reporters following talks with U.S. President Joe Biden at the White House.

While reiterating that NATO does not want to enter direct confrontation with Russia, Stoltenberg said the Western military alliance has a "responsibility" to support Ukraine.

According to Stoltenberg, Ukrainians are "paying a high price for defending their own country," but Russia is also "taking high casualties."

The war most likely will end at the negotiating table, he said, adding that what happens during talks "is very closely linked to the situation on the ground, on the battlefield."

Asked if Ukraine is being pressured by the West to accept losses of territory in order to negotiate peace, Stoltenberg said "it's not for us to decide" what Ukraine should accept or refuse.

The NATO chief would not comment on whether the alliance was discussing naval escorts to unblock grain exports, but said he welcomed efforts to find ways to get more grain out.

"The easiest way to get more grain out and to reduce the pressure on food prices is for (Russian) President (Vladimir) Putin to end the war," he said.

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