14:24 13 Feb 2023

russia has launched large-scale offensive in Ukraine – NATO chief

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NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg says russian president vladimir putin is starting new offensive actions instead of preparing for peace in Ukraine.

The statement comes on the eve of a two-day meeting of NATO defense ministers that will begin on Tuesday in Brussels. That includes a Ukraine Defense Contact Group meeting or the Ramstein format.

"Almost a year after the invasion, putin is not preparing for peace but is starting new offensive actions," Stoltenberg said at a Brussels briefing on Monday, adding that it is why military support for Ukrainian is essential, Ukrinform reports.

The Secretary-General also noted that "speed saves lives." Stoltenberg continued that if putin wins in Ukraine, it will signal to authoritarian states worldwide that they can use force for their foreign policy goals. 

He emphasized that NATO "will support Ukraine as long as it is needed."

Later, answering questions from journalists, Stoltenberg specified that, in his opinion, russia's renewed offensive in Ukraine "has already begun," as can be seen from the number of additional forces that russia is sending to the east of Ukraine.

"For me, this only emphasizes the importance of timely delivery of weapons, equipment, and spare parts to Ukraine. The sooner we do it, the more lives we will save and pave the way to a peaceful resolution of the conflict," NATO Secretary General believes.

Earlier, Ukraine's Minister of Defense Oleksii Reznikov stated that the main issues on the Ramstein agenda are the protection of the Ukrainian sky, including through an aviation platform; development of the "tank coalition"; safety margin for ammunition; training programs for Ukrainian soldiers; stability of support (logistics, maintenance, repair, practical implementation of "Military Schengen").

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