NATO leaders urge Putin to stop all-out war and refrain from using chemical weapons

24 March, 05:44 PM
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (Photo:REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes)

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (Photo:REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes)

The heads of state and government of the 30 NATO member countries called on Russian dictator Vladimir Putin to immediately stop the full-scale war against Ukraine and withdraw troops from its territory, and for the Belarusian regime of Alexander Lukashenko to end its collaboration with the Russians in the invasion, reads a statement made by the NATO leaders following an extraordinary summit on March 24.

The document says that Russia's all-out war against Ukraine has shattered peace in Europe and threatens global security, and the Ukrainians have inspired the world community with their heroic resistance.

The alliance condemned Russian attacks on civilians and civilian infra-structure, including those threatening nuclear power plants. NATO reaffirmed "unwavering support for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine" and promised it would work to bring those responsible for war crimes to justice.

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NATO leaders called on Moscow to comply with the decision of the International Court of Justice and immediately stop the war against Ukraine, as well as provide humanitarian corridors for civilians and the delivery of humanitarian aid to Mariupol and other cities besieged by the invaders. The alliance promised to continue to expose Russian fakes and provocations, and warned that any use of chemical or biological weapons by Russia would be unacceptable and would lead to severe consequences.

“Russia needs to show it is serious about negotiations by immediately implementing a ceasefire,” the alliance declared.

“We call on Russia to engage constructively in credible negotiations with Ukraine to achieve concrete results, starting with a sustainable ceasefire and moving towards a complete withdrawal of its troops from Ukrainian territory.”

NATO members also said that they would continue to help Ukraine, including in the areas of cybersecurity and "protection against threats of a chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear nature."

NATO urges all countries, including China, not to support Russia's war and to refrain from any action that will help the aggressor country circumvent sanctions. The North Atlantic Alliance continues to strengthen the eastern flank in light of the “gravest threat to Euro-Atlantic security in decades." So far, 40,000 NATO troops have been deployed on the alliance’s eastern flank, and four additional battle groups will be deployed in Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia.

President Volodymyr Zelensky joined the NATO summit virtually from Kyiv on March 24 and called for 1% of the alliance's aircraft and tanks to be provided to Ukraine.

Zelensky has been critical of NATO inaction over Ukraine, especially over NATO members' refusal to close the airspace over Ukraine and prevent Russian airstrikes.

NATO members have thus far been reluctant to involve themselves militarily in the invasion, with analysts fearing that direct military confrontation between NATO and the Russian Federation may lead to another world war.

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