NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said the West must be prepared for a “long war in Ukraine,” adding that there is “no doubt” Ukraine will eventually join the American-led military alliance.
The Norwegian politician quashed any hope of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine coming to an end any time soon.
“Most wars last longer than expected when they first begin,” Stoltenberg said per France24.
“Therefore, we must prepare ourselves for a long war in Ukraine,” the NATO Chief said.
“We are all wishing for a quick peace,” the NATO Secretary General continued.
“But at the same time, we must recognize: if President Zelensky and the Ukrainians stop fighting, their country will no longer exist. If President Putin and Russia lay down their weapons, we will have peace.”
Stoltenberg’s remarks come as President Volodymyr Zelensky is set to visit Washington to meet with Joe Biden and Congress to lobby for additional aid for his country’s counteroffensive against Russian forces.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration requested Congress for a further $24 billion in aid to Ukraine on top of the $113 billion in American taxpayer dollars already committed to the country.
Secretary General Stoltenberg proclaimed, “There is no doubt that Ukraine will eventually be in NATO.”
During the last summit of the Western military alliance in Vilnius, Lithuania, NATO leaders agreed Ukraine could become eligible to become a member.
Still, they said the country must meet the alliance’s membership criteria.
Prospective NATO members must demonstrate a commitment to uphold democracy through “tolerating diversity,” “showing progress” towards developing a market economy and having a military “firm civilian control,” and show it is “working toward compatibility with NATO forces.”
Earlier this month, Secretary of State Antony Blinken pledged $1 billion more for Ukraine, including $300 Million for the country’s law enforcement,
The money for Ukraine included the following:
$175 million in military assistance
$100 million for “longer-term military needs”
$206 million for humanitarian aid
$300 million to support “law enforcement”