Wednesday, May 18

NATO expects a “major offensive” from Putin in Donbas: “It is a crucial phase of the war”

Russia has not been able to take kyiv. But that doesn’t mean the war is ending, according to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. “It is a crucial phase of the war”, said the Norwegian this Tuesday in Brussels, on the eve of the meeting with NATO foreign ministers this Wednesday and Thursday: “Moscow does not give up its ambitions in Ukraine. Now we see a significant movement of troops out of kyiv, they are regrouping, rearming and resupplying. And they shift their target to the east. In the coming weeks, we expect a new Russian push in eastern and southern Ukraine, trying to take all of Donbas and create a land bridge to occupied Crimea. This is a crucial phase of the war. This rearmament will take some time, but then we will see a big offensive in Donbas to take Donbas. In this window it is important to support the Ukrainian troops and that is what the allies will do”.

“It is a brutality not seen since the Second World War”, said the Norwegian about the images of Bucha: “It is horrible, it causes suffering in Ukraine and it is dangerous for the whole world. We see the nature of Putin’s war, the lack of respect for international norms and basic human rights for all those killed. It is the most serious security challenge since World War II.”

According to Stoltenberg, “the allies are determined to provide further support to Ukraine. Including anti-tank weapons, air defense systems and other equipment. Allies have also increased humanitarian assistance and financial aid. NATO will also seek to provide cybersecurity assistance. And equipment to help Ukraine protect itself against chemical and biological threats.”

NATO’s secretary general has also targeted Beijing, after the European Union on Friday unsuccessfully asked China to get involved in convincing Russian President Vladimir Putin to stop the war. “Allies will also address the upcoming NATO Strategic Concept for the Madrid Summit in June, which will guide the Alliance as we adjust to a new reality and address the implications of Russia’s aggressive actions and our future relationship with Moscow. For the first time, it will also need to take into account China’s growing influence and coercive policies on the global stage, posing a systemic challenge to our security and to our democracies.”

According to what was announced by the Secretary General of NATO, on Thursday the Foreign Minister of Ukraine, Dmytro Kuleba, as well as his counterparts from Finland, Sweden, Georgia, as well as the High Representative of the European Union, will speak at the meeting. Joseph Borrell. Likewise, the Asia-Pacific partners of NATO, Australia, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea will participate.

“NATO supports Ukraine, we have been doing it for years, we have trained thousands of soldiers who fight against the invaders, we have equipped them and they have more support. We see the effect every day on the battlefield, with more resistance to respond to the invader”, said Stoltenberg: “The allies will continue to provide support, because there is a link between the strength on the battlefield and what they can achieve in the negotiating table. We will never recognize illegal territories, like Crimea. It is Putin’s war, he is responsible for everything we see in Ukraine. We have to keep putting pressure on Putin, we are on the right side of history.”