Stoltenberg: Biggest escalation since the beginning of the war
Created: 09/30/2022, 19:48
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg expresses the military alliance in Brussels.
© Olivier Matthys/AP/dpa
NATO also sharply condemned the annexation of Ukrainian territories.
"None of this shows strength," says Secretary General Stoltenberg.
Ukraine must continue to be supported by the military alliance.
Brussels - NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has described Russia's recent actions in the war against Ukraine as the worst escalation since the invasion began on February 24.
"This is a crucial moment," said the Norwegian in Brussels.
He pointed to Russia's partial mobilization, nuclear saber-rattling and illegal annexation of Ukrainian territories.
“None of that shows strength.
It shows weakness,” said Stoltenberg.
This is an admission that the war is not going according to plan and that Russian President Vladimir Putin has completely failed in his strategic goals.
According to Stoltenberg, fears of a Russian nuclear attack should not be given in to.
Putin said in the afternoon that Russia wants to see military strikes in annexed areas as attacks against its own territory.
He repeated the threat to respond "with all available means".
NATO Secretary General: Do not accept nuclear blackmail
Stoltenberg stressed that if you accept Russia's annexation and let nuclear saber-rattling stop you from helping Ukraine, then you accept nuclear blackmail.
Rather, one must continue to support Ukraine.
If Putin is allowed to win, Ukraine will cease to exist as a sovereign nation.
But this is also dangerous for the NATO states.
It is not that inaction is not a risk.
Rather, inaction is a great risk because it creates a world in which Putin sees that he can use military force with impunity.
"Russia must understand that a nuclear war can never be won and must never be waged." At the same time, Stoltenberg warned Russia of serious consequences if it uses nuclear weapons.
This was clearly communicated to Moscow.
At the same time, Stoltenberg confirmed that NATO was not a party to the conflict.
Regarding the annexation of four partially occupied areas in Ukraine by Moscow, Stoltenberg said: "The NATO allies do not recognize any of these areas as part of Russia and will not do so in the future either." All states are called on to accept Russia's blatant attempts to reject, to conquer territories.
Ukraine to join NATO?
- "Door stays open"
After Ukraine's request for membership, Stoltenberg emphasized the alliance's open-door policy.
"We have repeatedly stated that NATO's door remains open," said the Secretary-General when asked whether NATO was considering complying with Ukraine's request.
Kyiv had previously announced that it wanted to apply to join NATO.
"Our value is the love of people": Putin announces Ukraine annexation in wild speech
Rusty AKs and plastic bags: video to show how Russia equips new recruits
Stoltenberg emphasized that every democracy in Europe has the right to apply for NATO membership.
Allies respect this.
However, a decision must be made by consensus among all member states.
The current focus is on direct support for Ukraine.
"That is the main focus and the main effort of the NATO allies," said Stoltenberg.
More data exchange after Nord Stream attack
The NATO countries are reacting to the explosions on the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines with more intensive data exchange.
"We are increasing the exchange of knowledge and information," said the Norwegian.
Data from the past few weeks is already being evaluated to find out more about the attacks.
In principle, the military presence, the collection and exchange of data and the monitoring of the infrastructure are the most important measures to prevent similar attacks on critical energy infrastructure, according to Stoltenberg.