The war between Russia and Ukraine is most likely to be resolved through a negotiated settlement, although that does not signify the West should stop sending weapons to Kyiv or ease economic sanctions on Moscow said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
The fighting will almost certainly end at the negotiating table, according to Stoltenberg, who acknowledged that a complete military victory was not an option.
“Our responsibility is to ensure that Ukraine is in the strongest possible position and to help it remain a sovereign and independent European nation,” he said.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization has been providing military and financial assistance to Ukraine. In addition to nonlethal supplies like night-vision goggles and medical kits, NATO member states have also sent Kyiv anti-tank missiles and other weaponry.
The U.S. has been the biggest provider of military assistance to Ukraine, although Germany and Canada have also stepped up their contributions in recent years. NATO’s decision to provide lethal assistance to Kyiv was a significant policy shift amid strong opposition from Russia.
Moscow has accused the West of trying to destabilize the region. The Kremlin has also warned that any further expansion of NATO’s presence in eastern Europe would be met with a strong response.
Despite the risk of escalation, Stoltenberg said it was important for NATO to stand by Ukraine. “If we give up on Ukraine, it will have severe consequences for our security,” he said. “It will increase the risk of conflict and instability spreading to other parts of Europe.”
“You can always achieve peace by surrendering. But Ukraine is fighting for its freedom. It wants to be a democratic nation without submitting to Russia’s power. Ukrainians are willing to make sacrifices for these values. It’s not up to us to tell them how far their sacrifices should go”. Stoltenberg said.
In response to a question about whether the West’s arms shipments to Kyiv are contributing to the conflict and increasing deaths in Ukraine, Secretary Stoltenberg answered, “we assist them because they request it.“
“Throughout history, nations have been prepared to make great sacrifices for freedom.”
Stoltenberg’s comments come as NATO leaders are preparing to meet in Madrid for a summit that is expected to focus on the alliance’s ongoing efforts to deter Russian aggression.
The conflict in eastern Ukraine has claimed the lives of more than 30,000 people and displaced over 8 million. It is uncertain whether the conflict will end any time soon. Stoltenberg declined to comment on when discussions might resume between Ukraine and Russia.
Will the conflict be resolved soon? Is the damage irreversible? Please comment below on how you think the conflict will end.