NATO puts more military at higher state of readiness, says Stoltenberg

21 November 2022, 07:15 PM
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (Photo:REUTERS/Yves Herman)

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (Photo:REUTERS/Yves Herman)

NATO is doing all it can to prevent conflict from escalating beyond Ukraine, doubling the number of its battlegroups in the region from four to eight, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Nov. 21.

Speaking at the 68th Annual Session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, Stoltenberg said the alliance was putting even more troops on a higher state of readiness.

He also stressed the readiness of the alliance to support Ukraine for the long haul:

"Yes, I know that this support comes with a price,” Stoltenberg said. “In our countries, many people face a cost-of-living crisis. These are tough times for many.”

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“But the price we pay as NATO allies is measured in money. While the Ukrainians, they pay a price which is measured in blood. And if we allow Putin to win, all of us will have to pay a much higher price."

"Authoritarian regimes around the world will learn that they can get what they want with brute force. This would have direct consequences for our security. It would make the world more dangerous."

Stoltenberg also warned against underestimating Russia, as "it retains significant military capabilities and a high number of troops, (and is) willing to suffer substantial casualties and to inflict horrific suffering on the Ukrainian people."

Stoltenberg noted that 2022 has been the eighth year in a row of increased defense spending across Europe and Canada. Over $350 billion extra will have been spent by the end of the year, he said.

"Most likely, the war will end at the negotiating table at a certain stage," the NATO Secretary General said earlier.

"At the same time, we know that the outcome of these negotiations depends on the power on the battlefield. Therefore, if we want a peaceful solution to this conflict, we must make sure that Ukraine is strong on the battlefield. That's the best way we can contribute to a peace which ensures that Ukraine remains an independent sovereign nation, is to deploy military support to Ukraine, so there can be an acceptable negotiated solution at the end of this war."

Stoltenberg also said the production of military equipment and ammunition should be increased, as NATO has significantly depleted its stocks.

At the end of October Stoltenberg urged NATO to increase military support of Ukraine so that its troops would be able to fight effectively in winter conditions.

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