Tuesday, March 28

NATO, on the negotiations: “Russia must be judged by deeds, not by words; she has lied many times”

NATO does not trust Russia’s will to reach an agreement in the talks it is holding with Ukraine. “He has lied many times in the past, he has not shown a desire to reach an agreement through diplomatic channels, but rather a military outcome,” NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Thursday in Brussels.

“Russia must be judged by its deeds, not by its words”, assured the NATO secretary general, in response to messages from the Kremlin, which has announced a “drastic” reduction in its operations in the north, in the kyiv and Chernigov area “to increase mutual trust” in the peace talks.

It is an area where Russian troops have largely stalled – around kyiv, Ukraine is fighting back – while their biggest gains are in the south and east. “We can expect offensive actions with more suffering”, said Stoltenberg: “Russia must end this war, withdrawing troops and entering into a sincere dialogue. We welcome any efforts, including talks in Turkey, but have seen little willingness in Russia to pursue political solutions. We need to judge Russia by her actions, not by her words.”

“According to our intelligence services,” the Norwegian said, “Russian units are not withdrawing, but repositioning. Russia is trying to regroup, resupply and reinforce its offensive in the Donbas region. At the same time, Russia maintains pressure on kyiv and other cities.”

The NATO secretary general defends that there is “a link between the battlefield and the negotiating table, and NATO tries to strengthen the Ukrainian position at the table by sending weapons”: Until when? “You have to keep sending weapons as long as necessary,” says Stoltenberg: “What we see is that Russia is sticking with its idea of ​​a military outcome in Ukraine. We see no real change in the main Russian targets.”

In this sense, the Norwegian has drawn attention to the consequences that the Russian blockade of the Black Sea ports is having: “The Black Sea is important for NATO, but the ports are also key for exporting grain and food, and the blockade of the ports is being a problem for the whole world of prices and shortages”.

Regarding the possibility of Finland asking to join the Atlantic Alliance, Stoltenberg acknowledged that “it is a sovereign decision of Finland”, while he ventured that the country would be “quickly welcomed”.